“It gets to a point where it’s almost debilitating, where you’re thinking about it constantly.”
Taken from a testimony featured in a compelling new video, this statement captures many women's perspectives on street harassment, sexual assault and the unpredictable space in between. As if anecdotes from friends and family weren't enough to cause alarm, the Internet is inundated with stories of sexual assault each day. When such behavior is considered "normal" and largely goes unpunished, the simple task of walking alone at night becomes more and more daunting for women.
"What It's Like To Be A Woman At Night," produced by BuzzFeed, captures six women's experiences walking alone at night. The women vary in age, race and background but share grimly familiar sentiments: Women shouldn't need a pocketknife or pepper spray to walk through their own cities' streets, but having them makes us feel safer. As one woman says: “You try to tell yourself that you are a brave, strong person and you shouldn’t be afraid of walking alone."
These women's stories contribute to the broader conversation of sexual assault and the huge impact these crimes have on women, right down to the simple act of walking home alone. Women should be able to walk alone at night without grasping keys between their knuckles or having 911 dialed and ready.