Opinion: Should the UK implement a 6pm curfew for men?

After the discovery of Sarah Everard’s body, there have been talks about a 6pm curfew for men potentially being brought out across the UK.

There is no reason that people should not feel safe. But, to what extent should action be taken to make sure people feel safe?

Sarah Everard disappeared and was later found dead after she was walking home in London. Since this news was published, tributes have been made online as well as people laying flowers, messages and candles. The most prominent tributes are those saying “she was just walking home.” Posts explained she did everything right in wearing memorable clothing and letting someone know she was on her way home. So why did she never make it home safely? This question has been weighing heavy on so many people’s minds.

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson tweeted that he was making a tribute for Sarah through ‘lighting a candle for her and thinking of her family and friends.’

It is good to see our government making tributes and saying they want changes to be made. But, how far is too far?

 

The talks of a 6pm curfew for men in the UK could be too far.

It is evident from this tragic event that action needs to be taken. Women should feel safe to ‘walk home.’

Social media has been full of women expressing their feelings towards the reasons behind Sarah’s death.

A popular post on social media

Posts such as the one above are trending all over social media sites.

It is extremely important that women feel safe. It is not right to feel unsafe by doing simple things such as walking alone. Action needs to be taken to further improve the safety on our streets. It needs to be apparent that more can be done to put women’s minds at rest.

But, I believe that this does not only apply to women. This event has spurred talks about how women feel unsafe, and got women communicating their feelings openly – which is a good start. But, men are just as likely to feel unsafe in certain situations too. Their feelings should not be dismissed. Women are talking openly now, men should be entitled to as-well.

Some people have been responding to posts online like the one above using the same layout but applying it to men.

A comment in response to the above post on Facebook

The online debate has got more and more people talking, but it is important it does not make men and women turn against each-other. We all have a right to express our views and opinions. I believe it is very important that we all appreciate everyone’s thoughts and feelings.

An example of us all working together, as we should be, people have been taking action through launching petitions. For example, one petition has been launched to “Maximise lighting on Clapham Common to improve safety.” So far this petition has over 25,000 signatures.

You can click here to sign the petition.

 

The potential 6pm curfew.

Baroness Jenny Jones, member of the Green Party told the Express that after finding out the events of Sarah’s death, ‘she would argue that at the next opportunity for a Bill that she may put in the amendment to create a curfew for men on the streets after 6pm. She added, she believes this would make women a lot safer and all kinds of discrimination would be lessened.’

While it is good that people are appreciating action needs to be taken to help women feel safer, we should be careful not to accidentally blame all men. By creating a 6pm curfew for men, this is conveying that all men are dangerous. Also, if this curfew is used for a while and then abolished, it runs the risk of making women more scared of any men they walk past on the streets. It has the potential of creating more fear.

Similarly, what potentially happened to Sarah should not be used against all men. The 6pm curfew should not be rolled out for all men in the UK.

The idea of this curfew could be amended to only apply to any men who have been prosecuted for any crimes involving assault, upset or fear they imposed onto a woman.

Overall, the biggest risks need to be identified and improved to overcome this situation. What is important is not taking something as tragic as Sarah’s death and using it against all men. This is unfair.

As of yet there are no plans set up to implement this curfew in the UK. But, steps are being taken to protect women following this event.