As a woman, the world doesn’t feel safe.

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It doesn’t feel safe because we still have to march and fight for our rights,
they’re not guaranteed.

It doesn’t feel safe because one of the most powerful countries in the world is ruled by a man who says ‘grab them by the pussy.’
Because the same man called his opponent a ‘nasty woman.’

It doesn’t feel safe because abusive relationships are happening all around us.

It doesn’t feel safe because women are sexually assaulted everyday.
Because 85,000 women are raped in the UK every year.
Because nearly half of the girls where I live have been sexually assaulted.
It doesn’t feel safe because 90% of assault victims knew their rapist before the offence.
And only 5.7% of the cases reported end in a conviction.

It isn’t safe because 60,000 girls under the age of 15 are at risk of FGM in the UK alone.
Because of 130 million girls and women have been victims of this worldwide.

It doesn’t feel safe because 1 in 5 trans women have been incarcerated.
Because 44% of lesbians and 61% of bisexual women are assaulted or abused.
Because if you’re not a white straight male you’re subject to hate and threatened by politicians and law makers.

It doesn’t feel safe because these men can make decisions that will change my life.
Because men sit around a table and sign something that will stop reproductive rights.
Because women and minority groups aren’t there to stop them.
Because we don’t have fair representation.
Because we aren’t treated like we own our bodies,
or our lives.

It doesn’t feel safe because every day my decisions are made with this at the back of my mind.
Because I have to keep my passenger door locked when I drive.
Because I decide where to park not based on convenience but whether it’s well lit and there’s CCTV.
Because the way I get from A to B is decided on whether I’m alone, whether the streets are well lit and busy.
Because sometimes I have to turn around and go back the other way.
Because I always walk with my phone in one hand and my keys in the other after dark,
and if your phone dies your lifeline is gone.
Because the walk to and from work in the dark feels like you’re doing something dangerous.

And because even walking in the day is a threat.

It doesn’t feel safe because I don’t trust the man sat next to me on a train.
And when a man says ‘see you later’, you never quite know whether it was just friendly.

It doesn’t feel safe because I daren’t jog in the woods alone.
And if I did and something happened people would say it was my fault.

It doesn’t feel safe because I daren’t go travelling alone,
no matter how much I really want to.
Because people approach you in a way they don’t if you’re with a man.
Because people in strange cities ask if they can take you to the beach at night,
or ask if you want to go for a walk in a place you know there aren’t any lights.

It doesn’t feel safe because I daren’t get in a taxi by myself.
Because I don’t want to be the last one left on the tram or the bus.
Because when I walk I have to glance over my shoulder,
and I know as a young girl I’m more likely to be attacked.

It doesn’t feel safe because the thing I worry about most isn’t theft or even murder.

Because every girl knows they have to learn how to get rid of creepy guys in nightclubs,
and if you go out with other guys, they feel they have to protect you.

It doesn’t feel safe because I’ll be blamed for my skirt being too short,
or my top being too low,
my lips too red,
my belly button showing,
my dancing saying yes when I’m saying no.

And because every night ends with someone saying ‘let me know when you get home ok.’
Because we all know,
you might not.

It doesn’t feel safe because there’s a list this long as to why,
and that’s not even all of it.

And this is why we need to fight.

Because we are nasty women, and we own our bodies and our lives.

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