A number of years ago, I went out with a group of friends for the evening. We were in our 20s, drinking, dancing, flirting and having a grand old time.
As our shenanigans came to a close at around 1am, I hustled my very, very drunk friend into a taxi (yes, I’m showing my age – this was before Uber!).
“I’m sorry to do this, but can I have a look at your ID?” I asked the cab driver. He smiled knowingly as he handed it over and said, “Not a problem, write it down if you like – and note down my cab number. I’ll get her home safely, I promise.”
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This situation, or variations of it, are familiar to almost every single female on the Gold Coast. On the planet.
As women, we are ALWAYS on alert about our personal safety. When we’re not sober, our friends are on alert for us.
It’s a constant state of being. For complete clarity around this topic, men, please know this: as women, we are always aware of our surroundings.
When we happen to be alone in public, we are hyper aware of our surroundings.
And when we happen to be alone, and it’s night time? Well, to be honest, being attacked is all we think about. We assume that every single male we encounter is a potential rapist. We will cross the road to avoid people. We will think of Eurydice and Jill and Masa and we pray to whoever is listening that we’ll get home safely.
When a horrific tragedy unfolds such as the devastating events of last week, we don’t need to be reminded to take care of our personal safety.
I found myself nodding emphatically when Sally Rugg, executive director of change.org, wrote: “When we hear that young women are raped and murdered while walking home at night, it shakes the rest of us to our core. Not because it’s unthinkable, but because it reaffirms what we’re scared of *all the time*.”
Lisa Wilkinson shared her views on The Project and she perfectly summed up what a generation of women are thinking…
What happens next?
How do we avoid another Eurydice tragedy?
Because the honest to God truth is, telling women to ‘be more aware’ isn’t going to change a thing.