With the world finally coming out of the rut that was lockdown and life returning to some sort of normalcy, we forget that we went through a major change. Instead of attending events physically, we were living in a dystopian-like virtual realm. Upon lockdown ending, many people developed social anxiety of what things would look like post corona. Of all the worries people had, especially women, I don't think violence towards us was at the top of the list. However, post lockdown life has revealed to us that there is a bigger pandemic out there.
Over the last couple of months, there has been a constant reminder that aggression towards women still exists. We have heartbreakingly had some women stolen from us whose deaths had a profound impact on everyone who heard about them. Sabina Nessa was walking through a park in broad daylight, Sarah Everard was attacked and murdered by a police officer and Miya Marcano was attacked and murdered in the privacy of her own home. Is it fair that women should be murdered for simply existing?
The deaths of these three innocent women sparked conversations between not just my inner circle and myself but the wider community of women around me. An opinion that many of us shared through tweets and facebook posts was that it is straining to go out knowing that wearing a mask to protect yourself against COVID isn't the only precaution that needs to be taken. We also shielding against men. There have also been quite a few images and videos circulating on social media platforms that are explaining to women how to tell if their drink has been spiked and promoting some techniques to protect your drink from potential harm. It has left many of us wondering if there is any point in bothering to go out.
Due to the shock of the rising cases of spiked drinks and brutal attacks, many women have also started sharing stories of narrowly escaping trafficking rings and sharing advice on how to realise if you are being initiated into one. The bitter sweet reality of this is that the bravery of one woman telling her story is leading to more women coming forward with theirs and realising that they too were victims to what could have changed their lives and the lives of their families forever.
I would like to end this post by commemorating Sabina Nessa, Sarah Everard and Miya Marcano whose tragic deaths sparked a passion inside me to want to do more to protect not only myself but my fellow women, my sisters, my girlfriends, whatever the word may be. May they and all the other women who have been victims of male abuse sleep peacefully and rest assured knowing that justice will be served.
To you the reader, I would like to pose the question “is lockdown really over for women?” I want the world to know that many of these attacks have occurred whilst women are just being themselves in public places, broad daylight and by trusted people. So my answer is no. What is yours?
Written by Lucy Gborie