The Ongoing Violence that Women Face


“Don’t go anywhere by yourself!” is a phrase that most women know all too well. Too often are girls told to cover up, never walk anywhere alone, and use the buddy system when going to the bathroom. The National Institutes of Health interviewed 1,800 women about their self-defense weapons and daily lives. When asked if they avoided or changed doing things to protect themselves from violence, 70% of the interviewees agreed. 

Women should not feel pressured to change their lifestyles to protect themselves from violence or sexual harassment. Yet, a recent study from the United Kingdom exposed the sad reality that 97% of women aged 18 to 24 have been sexually harassed. Furthermore, the UK estimates that 9 out of 10 women, globally, feel unsafe in public spaces. The study criticizes current organizations put in place to protect people, particularly women, finding that not enough is being done. 

An example of the global danger is the murder of Sarah Everard. She was a woman living in the UK who mysteriously disappeared one night, despite the fact that she had taken all the necessary precautions to protect herself. She walked home on a well-lit, popular route and had even worn modest clothing. Despite these precautions, she was kidnapped and later murdered as a result of walking alone at night. 

Globally, women feel unsafe, even when doing a seemingly mindless task such as walking home. The fear of sexual harassment and violence is extending to transgender girls in high school. There has been ongoing controversy surrounding transgender women participating in female sports due to their potential biological advantages. However, this controversy is now affecting high school girls. Recently, a bill in Florida passed “banning transgender girls from participating in school sports and requiring girls whose sex is ‘disputed’ to undergo inspections of their genitalia.” This bill is a clear violation of privacy as it targets minors who do not have a legal voice to deny or comply with the exams. Furthermore, it conflicts with President Biden’s executive order against gender discrimination, which includes the LGBTGIA+ community. Melanie Willingham-Jaggers, the executive director at the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) stated, “The invasive physical exams required by these bills and similar ones in other states are deeply harmful and inappropriate.” Currently, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, South Dakota, and Idaho have banned transgender girls from participating in sports. 

Women of all ages face violence and sexual assault at higher rates than men do. As a result they take more precautions to ensure their safety while constantly adjusting their lives to avoid danger. Throughout the world, 70% of women have been sexually harassed. However, even after taking all necessary precautions to remain safe, there are women like Sarah Everard who have been murdered on their way home. This danger around the world is now being extended to schools where transgender girls are banned from sports and are being required to undergo invasive gentila exams. These are examples that demonstrate and call for immense action and change to protect women from violence. Concepts that justify the actions of perpetrators such as “boys will be boys” can no longer be an excuse for social or political violence. Simply put, it is time for change.