Grace and Evelyn, both Fifth Form pupils, have been giving talks this week across the school years raising awareness around the circumstances of the death of Sarah Everard. We managed to catch up with the girls to see how their presentations were going.
Grace said, “We wanted to acknowledge that certain things are never ok – boys need to understand that even shouting inappropriate comments is not the correct way to win over a girl. We also wanted to make sure that girls understand what actions to take if a boy makes them feel uncomfortable.”
Grace and Evelyn have been telling Sarah’s story, specifying she was very well-liked amongst her friends. They wanted to make sure that she would also be remembered for who she was and not just for the circumstances of how she had died.
Evelyn said, “Did you know that 97% of women have been sexually harassed in their lifetime and 90% of those victims know their perpetrator. When people discuss the term “not all men” not being accurate, for some women it is all men to be cautious of. If you are given a plate of cookies but one was poisonous, would you risk it?”
The messages and topics brought up during their presentation speak to the need to raise awareness among younger audiences. “Whatever gender you are it is never ok to body shame and make sexual comments about someone,” said Grace and Evelyn. “Tackling these problems from a young age can help normalise these conversations later down the line.”
Education is vital for these topics but there are ways to keep yourself safe:
- Sharing your location on apps like FindMyFriends or WhatsApp
- Make a ‘silent’ emergency call by dialling 999 and then pressing 55 if you can’t speak in a situation
- 61016 – Send a text to this number if you feel unsafe
Making a difference
All of this awareness is for a good cause. Grace and Evelyn are raising money today through a non-uniform day for The Survivors Trust, a charity that provides free confidential support and information for victims of any type of sexual violence. The information gathered by the charity is then used for survivors, their supporters, and society at large, making sure these events are not normalised. The Survivors Trust member agencies provide a range of specialist services to survivors including counselling, support, helplines and advocacy services for women, men, non-binary people and children. These agencies are mostly charities and are completely independent of the police.