Wednesday 17 March 2021

# Take A Stand

Every woman you know has taken a longer route

Has doubled back on herself

Has pretended to dawdle by a shop window

Has held her keys in her hand

Has made a fake phone call

Has rounded a corner and run

Every woman you know has walked home scared

Every woman you know

[written by Harriet Johnson, a London Barrister]

Yes, I've done those things, I have felt threatened and unsafe. And my heart aches when I read of Sarah Everard and other women who have been victims of sexual violence. And I am enraged when they have been blamed, because it was somehow 'their fault'. They were 'in the wrong clothes' - they 'didn't say NO loudly enough' - they 'didn't fight back' - they 'were asking for it' - they 'had been drinking' 
Last Saturday at 9.30, Bob and I stood outside, with a candle - a silent vigil to remember Sarah and to pray for her family. Our street was silent, sadly I saw no other lights.
The scenes on Clapham Common were distressing, and there are two sides to every story. I do not wish to apportion blame. 
But how can we raise awareness?  Why are people to blind to the statistics? Cressida Dick said it is 'incredibly rare' for a woman to be abducted from the streets - but appeared to gloss over the fact that a woman dies every other day because of male violence [most often in the home]
In these days of covid-19 it is really hard to gather together and show solidarity, and make a peaceful protest
A local photographer, Jayne Jackson,  here in Bournemouth is organising a people-free covid-safe Art Protest on Thursday - called "#Takeastand" she is planning to use shoes as a metaphor for standing up, and making a change. She did a really good interview on Radio Solent yesterday.
Jayne posted on social media asking for any unwanted shoes - and also for people to set up local drop-off points.
Which is why there is a labelled bin on our drive next to my car. I leafletted the whole road on Monday morning, and posted on two local FB groups and the bin has been filled and emptied twice already. Late Tuesday night someone delivered a large cardboard box holding 10 pairs, including some workboots. 
After the event, any shoes in good condition will go to the Shoe Aid Charity.  I am so grateful to those who are supporting this action.
Three things happened to me, in the 1970s, which I vividly remember. They taught me about vulnerability and victim shaming. That was half a century ago. How much has changed?
And even though I am busy trying to prepare a sermon for Sunday, and pack up my home for moving in April, this is a cause which I want to support. For my daughters, grand-daughter, nieces, friends...for every woman I know- and all those I don't.


  1. Thank you for taking a stand, Angela.

  2. Well said (and done!), Angela. I'll be supporting local initiatives.

  3. Well said, Angela. I have been one of those who walks with carkeys and phone firmly held in hand.

  4. Thank you for doing this. And yes, I have done everything on that list. Good luck.

  5. And this is the way to do it. Peacefully, not in a way that dangers others, not ranting, not swearing, not being aggressive in a way that puts people's backs up. Showing it is important and that you care and want to do something in a way that is powerful and means something.
    All the ranty sweaters on IG cluld learn something from you.


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