This happens to each generation of women - and nothing ever changes
Haringey Liberal Democrat female councillors
- Credit: PA
We will all have been horrified by the abduction and murder of Sarah Everard.
Fewer people will be aware that in the same week that she went missing a further six women and a little girl were also murdered by men.
Sarah’s murder felt like the final straw for many of us. Years and years of pent-up frustration and anger is being expressed by millions of women at the senseless deaths of women like Blessing Olusegun, Bennylyn Burke and her little girl Jellica, Wenjing Xu, Ruth Williams, Bibaa Henry, Nicola Smallman and the many, many women and girls who have been murdered by men.
Anger that we have to protect ourselves, with our keys, rape alarms, tracking apps on our phones, the rituals and routines we undertake each time we go out to keep ourselves safe.
Anger that we are harassed, assaulted and abused. Anger that it’s become so normal that we downplay it, we think ourselves lucky it was nothing worse, we don’t report it.
Anger at the lack of outrage and unequal treatment of women of colour who are victims of serious crime.
And anger, an exhausting never ending anger, that this continues to happen to each generation of women and nothing ever changes.
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As female politicians we can be on the receiving end of abuse and harassment. Following the terrible murder of the Labour MP, Jo Cox, in 2016 we are always worried about our safety.
Cllr Palmer challenged on Twitter whether White Hart Lane station should be renamed and within 24 hours she received over 230 abusive tweets – all but two from men – some with sexual or physical threats of violence and most misogynistic in their nature.
On a public Facebook group a male poster suggested that the Crouch End councillors should be “burnt at the stake”. Given that this punishment was traditionally given to women and two of the Crouch End councillors are female, it was fairly obvious who this was aimed at.
We hear from our female residents who don’t feel safe, for example exercising or walking in poorly lit public areas such as Alexandra Palace, or having to deal with flashers on Parkland Walk.
Women should be able to live safely in our borough. At full council we put forward a joint motion with our female Labour colleagues to protect women and girls and reclaim the streets, which was agreed unanimously – you can find the details of the motion here: ldharingey.nationbuilder.com/haringey_passes_cross_party_motion_on_women_s_violence
We ask you all to stand with us and in solidarity with women from all communities across the country to help us to make that happen. Women don’t want to feel lucky; we have a right to feel safe.
- From the Haringey Liberal Democrat women councillors: Cllr Dawn Barnes, Cllr Sakina Chenot, Cllr Pippa Connor, Cllr Liz Morris, Cllr Julia Ogiehor, Cllr Alessandra Rossetti, Cllr Tammy Palmer