Richard Madeley has explained he’s only realised now the extent of harassment against females, in the wake of Sarah Everard’s disappearance and death.
The body of 33-year-old Everard was found in woodland in Kent a week after she disappeared while walking home to Brixton from Clapham on March 3. A serving Met Police officer has since been charged with kidnap and murder.
Since then countless women have shared their own stories of harassment and assault, with a survey of 18-24-year-olds finding 97% had suffered sexual harassment. In the same survey 80% of women of all ages said they had experienced sexual harassment in public spaces.
Claiming until only earlier this month ‘we had no idea the problem was so universal’, Richard mentioned his daughter Chloe, who he shares with wife Judy Finnigan, and a conversation they had about her own feelings of safety.
He wrote for The Spectator: ‘I asked my 33-year-old daughter Chloe about her experiences and was shocked to learn how many times she’s been pestered or felt threatened.
‘She told me she never mentioned it until now because she simply accepted it as inevitable.’
Adding while there has been ‘much hand-wringing commentary’, the conversation around safety lacked ‘practical suggestions’ as the presenter put forth his own – a law against harassing women walking on the pavement.
He wrote: ‘It’s emerged that, astonishingly, kerb-crawling is not a criminal offence. Men cannot be prosecuted for tailing women and harassing them as they walk along the pavement.
‘So let’s make a start with that, shall we? Get kerb-crawling on the statute books with a mandatory jail sentence for offenders and the loss of their driving licence. Time for a crackdown on these creeps.’
In the aforementioned survey, which was answered by more than 1,000 women, 96% of respondents said they did not report incidents, with 45% thinking it would not change anything.
Some of the things which were left unreported included groping, being followed and being coerced into sexual activity.
UN Women UK is running a Safe Spaces Now project, calling for well-designed public spaces, improved education and better reporting systems.
The organisation collected stories from 400 women and sent an open letter to the Government and those in charge of public spaces calling for change.Credit: Original article published here.