Why don't men do something about sexual assault?

OPINION: Ive had it with crime shows revolving around dead women, invariably good-looking and young enough to pique the interest of the viewer, who thinks what a waste, which they mightnt, say, if she had less regular features.
Increasingly, it seems, one death isnt enough, leaving a starring role for a male avenger/cop, and yet more gory deaths for attractive women, usually young enough etc. Does nobody think about how these plodding, predictably grim storylines feed the story of women as natural victims whose Prince Charming/detective cant wake them with a kiss but can at least get revenge? Yawn.

A real murder, though, is another matter. And what a savage twist to the plot it is when the accused killer is a policeman.

Kirsty O'Connor/PA via AP
A demonstration on Tuesday in Londons Parliament Square against gender violence, following the murder of Sarah Everard.

The killing of Sarah Everard in London has outraged women there, whove clashed with the police what irony as they protest about and mourn the 33-year-old marketing executive who tried to walk home through Clapham Common, a large city park, late one night.

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The government reacted quickly, shelling out an extra 25 million pounds for better street lighting and CCTV. Also dont laugh theyre setting up a pilot scheme to plant plainclothes police as lookouts in pubs and clubs for potential killers. Women have been warned.

Met Police/Supplied
Sarah Everard, 33, was murdered earlier this month.

The accused cop worked in more salubrious settings, in diplomatic and parliamentary protection. Thats enough to make any diplomats and female MPs who had dealings with him cringe, and to make matters worse, a Yorkshire police sergeant was charged earlier this week with rape and sexual assault. Another cop, while acting as a scene guard for Everards body, sent an inappropriate graphic message to colleagues, who reported him, and hes suspended. The graphic didnt relate to the case. Slight comfort.

Police reaction to the fury of demonstrating women was inflammatory. Having a female commissioner doesnt seem to have meant more understanding and compassion. Just a hint of shame wouldnt have hurt either. I realise that the women risked spreading Covid but manhandling them wasnt the best way to deal with an aggrieved crowd. It only infuriated them.

Women have a lot to be angry about in the constraints they have to live within. One report says 97 per cent of women in the UK experience harassment, and why would it be any different here? Fear is closely linked.

Rosemary McLeod: One report says 97 per cent of women in the UK experience harassment, and why would it be any different here?

Its the sound of footsteps behind you on a quiet street late at night.

Its the deciding to cross the road when you see one or more men loitering ahead of you.

Its the never sitting next to the taxi driver in the front seat.

Its not getting into a car with a stranger or slight acquaintance.

Its any knock at the door late at night.

Its carrying your keys to defend yourself with as you walk home.

Its the counting the distance between you and the door when things are turning ugly.

Its the never going alone into public parks at any hour, day or night, alone.

Its the knowing theres a good chance of your attacker getting away with it, so you wont bother to report it, and anyway you dont trust the police.

Its the attackers confident entitlement.

Its being made a victim wholl be invisibly scarred by attacks and near-misses, making you highly sensitised and alert for years because your paths accidentally crossed.

This may be true for all the many victims of crime, women are not the only ones, but whoever, sexual assaults make for specific, bitter memories, and they can end in an ugly death, as they just did in the UK. All for no good reason. What is this problem that men have, and why dont they do something about it?


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