Hobbes (kitling) wrote,

I am not a victim

I've been getting annoyed recently by the media coverage of the Jill Meagher case. Its a tragic story and I feel nothing but sympathy for her family and friends. Especially the colleague that offered to walk her home, how bad must he be feeling.

But I'm resenting the media hype that says this means women shouldn't feel safe walking in Brunswick at night. The trying to make Brunswick seem a scary place. Now - my deep and abiding love for Brunswick may also be impacting on my emotions at this point. But I really don't think there is a reason for women to be afraid walking along at night.

Yes, violence does happen and you should still be smart - walk with keys or a mobile phone in your hand. If you feel nervous call someone while you are walking along, and if you do have an encounter, report it - anything that improves police knowledge is a good thing.

But don't decry to the universe that women are weak, that women are unsafe and that women should be scared.

The reality is - abduction events like this one are incredibly rare in Australia.

Statistically males are more likely to be the victim of random violence by strangers in the street than females are.

Sexual assault rates are horrifying - but statistically the abuser is way more likely to be known to the victim. Most sexual assault takes place in private homes, not public places.

You shouldn't be made to feel worried, scared, stressed and weak because you are female.

It was such lovely weather last night, that I opted to ride the two whole blocks along to the shops to get take out for dinner, rather than drive. My kid sister who likes reading mainstream media tried to talk me out of it...

There is talk of holding a Reclaim the Night event in Brunswick. I'm torn - while I like the idea of celebrating that people are safe to walk the streets, I don't like the way Reclaim the Night organisers go about it. I resent the starting assumption that women are not safe to walk the streets, the implications that women are victims. I also don't like the fact that at most of these events males are not welcome to participate.

Feel sympathy for the victim, be smart at night. But don't let yourself feel afraid.
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