In 2019, the organisation Plan International Australia started a campaign to show men what it's like to 'walk like a woman' on the streets at night. The campaign's aim was to advise men on how to make women feel safer on the streets. Many men have revisited the campaign's seven tips this week:
- Keep your distance: when walking behind a girl or woman at night, remember that the closer you are, the more threatening you seem. So make sure to leave a good amount of distance between yourself and her.
- Don't run up from behind: having some one run up behind you at night can give anyone a fright, but for a girl or woman it can be terrifying. Next time you're out for an evening jog and see a woman walk ing ahead cross the road or make sure to leave a good amount of space while passing.
- Don't stare: if you're by yourself, being stared at is intimidating and unsettling. Taking out your phone and focusing on something else can go a long way to showing you're not a threat. Look out the window to focus on something else, or call a friend to have a chat.
- Keep comments to yourself: what you might see as just a bit of fun, or even flattering, is actually harassment and can be terrifying to lone women and girls.
- Keep your mates in line: you may not harass women, but if you stay quiet while your mates do then you're part of the problem.
- Be an active bystander: if you notice a woman is uncomfortable with someone's behaviour, show your support by being an active bystander. It can be as simple as standing between a woman and her harasser to block their line of sight. Ask her if she is OK, and back up anyone else who is intervening.
- Share the walk: keep the conversation going by sharing these tips, and helping girls and women feel safer at night.
Any pupil who would like to talk about these tips should speak to their Head of Year. Through PSHE and discussions in tutor groups, pupils will also be advise on talking to male friends about misogyny and harassment.