Many of us at Architype today have been reflecting on the tragic events around missing Sarah Everard. The photos of her in the media since her disappearance last weekend remind us of that close relationship, we all have with many of our female friends’ family and colleagues. It’s been a striking feature of my week these past few days, these simple photos of her face. We are close in age, and no doubt close in life experiences lived. This could be any of our close female friends, family or colleagues. The fact that I’m even saying this could be any of these people in our lives is a terrifying prospect in itself: it still could be. It might be.
We are not in control of this, men’s violence against women. Whilst we still don’t know the full facts and circumstances, and must let due process happen in this investigation, it has opened a powerful door today across the country with women sharing stories and experiences and highlighting the every day struggle we face just being female. We reflected on our own experiences of feeling powerless or terrified in our own lives, sharing these untold raw stories with our work colleagues. They need to be told, everything from the cat calls on building sites, to being followed home, to being harassed whilst exercising or out with our children – and other experiences that in today’s more conscious society may warrant a criminal arrest. We stand today with the other voices of women across the UK and the world, who don’t deserve to be in the ‘wrong place at the wrong time’ or told we ‘ought to not’ walk home alone wrapped up on a well-lit London street at 9pm at night.
Perhaps it’s due to all the time we have spent at home this past 12 months with COVID, working from home that made Sarah’s disappearance have such an impression on us this week. The sacrifice women in society have already made everywhere this past 12 months, for childcare, elderly parent care, becoming educators, homemakers, bill payers, being exposed to more domestic abuse, continuing to work but also putting others first, makes this event very hard to just see as another news headline this week.
We made time to reflect on this today, and our only intent with this piece is to highlight the need for others to do the same. And whilst this post today is about females this applies to all genders, all cultures and all orientations. It’s just not good enough. We need to do better. Thoughts today with everyone who has never made it home.
/ Architype associate director Ann-Marie Fallon