it was the victim’s fault

It was the victim’s fault because she should never have “submitted” to arrest, and because she didn’t know about the legalities of arrest.

“Perhaps women need to consider in terms of the legal process, to just learn a bit about that legal process.”

Philip Allott, who oversees the North Yorkshire police, was accused of victim-blaming after saying women should “just learn a bit about that legal process” in case they are falsely arrested. He retracted his comments amid indignant calls for his resignation. Meanwhile, Scotland Yard suggested that a woman could try “waving down a bus” to escape a person they believe is pretending to be police. Waving down a bus? Pretending to be police? If I understood correctly, the man who murdered Sarah Everard was the police.

“If a person still does not feel safe, they should consider “shouting out to a passerby, running into a house, knocking on a door, waving a bus down or, if you are in the position to do so, calling 999.” 

If this is the best response the Metropolitan police in England can come up with in the wake of this appalling tragedy, then GHUA (God Help Us All) – and I don’t even live there. It’s clear as glass: we’re not in this together, we’re in it alone. It’s every woman for herself.

Another thing is clear: they’re not taking male violence against women seriously. Not like Spain, for example, a traditionally macho culture that did a complete turnaround recently and now recognizes male violence against women not only as an urgent public health priority, but a human rights violation. In contrast, what does the highest policing authority in England advise? Flag down a bus.

Why is the onus always on women to stay safe?

Society regularly reinforces the message that it is women’s responsibility to keep themselves safe, not men’s responsibility not to harass or assault them. 

“Violence against women—it’s a men’s issue.” Jackson Katz 

“Men have essentially been erased from so much of the conversation in a subject that is centrally about men.” Jackson Katz in his excellent TED Talk.

A Twitter user said – “Women are set up to be victim-blamed along the lines of “Why was she out so late?” Why don’t you focus on the need to vet police candidates better, weed out the bad ones and the ones who turn a blind eye, change the culture within the force?”

Not a single word or admission of culpability in the vetting of Wayne Couzens and missing (or choosing to ignore) warning signs that could have stopped him from killing. No, blame Sarah Everard, it was all her fault. Moreover, she’s dead, so she can’t speak for herself. My heart bleeds for her parents and sister.

At least three accusations of indecent exposure had been made against Couzens. It was also known amongst “the lads” (his fellow male colleagues) that he enjoyed watching violent porn. Urgent answers are required as to how he was allowed to remain in service.

The commissioner of the Metropolitan police, Cressida Dick (what? she hasn’t had the decency to resign?), actually said this when referring to the killer – “Sadly, some of them were abused at home, for example, and sadly on occasion, I have a bad ’un.”

A bad ’un? Is that some regional vernacular or is she being flippant? And what’s the relevance of mentioning that Wayne Couzens was abused at home? What’s your point, Ms. Dick? Or rather, Dame Dick.

In September 2019, she was promoted Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in Theresa May’s resignation honours. In 2013, she was named one of the 100 most powerful women in the United Kingdom by Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio.

Surely a Commander of the British Empire has some pull. Use that power, Dame Dick, and that astronomically high salary of yours to implement radical change and reform within your police force.