The recent boycott of bars, pubs, and nightclubs in the UK this past weekend because of increased drink spikings just shows how fed up we women are with always having to be on alert when we only want to go out and have fun with our friends.
The England and Wales Office for National Statistics 2020 sexual offences report highlighted that whilst 773,000 people had experienced sexual assault, the police database displays only 162,936 crimes, and the data regarding spiking are even lower.
Women are scared to exercise their basic right for freedom of movement, staying in their homes instead of going out because of fear of being spiked. What should we do?
Some say stay in. You can still have fun with your friends while guaranteeing your safety at home. It is completely understandable to think like this considering the extreme situation and data that are coming from all over the UK. It is comprehensible to say that after almost two years without clubs because of the pandemic, we can stay home for a little longer.
But until when? Are we as women giving a long-term solution for the problem? Are we trying to solve this so that the future generations can go out and have fun safely?
It doesn’t seem so. By staying at home indefinitely, we are only telling our aggressors that they can do whatever they want.
Our message should be different. Let’s strike. Let’s protest and boycott bars so they understand their role in this spiking epidemic and propose solutions. They need to understand they play a key part in creating a safe environment that makes it clear that any kind of sexual aggression will not be tolerated.
As women, we must raise our voices towards a permanent solution in which everyone, no matter their gender or sexual orientation, feels safe when going out at night.
We have to fight for a better feminist education in which all members of society are seen as equally free. Respect should be basic and everyone deserves to feel part of a community in which we are responsible for one another.
When we as women join together, we are stronger. The power of numbers is great and if everyone who believes in having a safe night out comes together, we will be okay. If passive bystanders of any gender turn active, if we feel responsible when we see something happening and we help solve it, we will overcome this danger. It is very important to state that not all men are responsible for harassment or spiking, so the ones who are not must become active bystanders by raising their voices and contributing to the change.
We cannot protest and stay-in forever. This is why SafeUP was created as part of the solution. By having a strong community behind you wherever and whenever you go, there will always be someone that has your back. You will never be alone and if we stay together we can make things better.
Obviously, solving this problem involves many more factors and a cultural change that comprehends that women have the same right as men to go out in a safe, carefree manner.
But no matter what changes take place, SafeUP will always be here for you, for me, and for all women.
You have the power to change the reality of women.
If you want to become a part of our global community of women and contribute to make this world a better place, join us here.
We walk together. We got your back.