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Violence against women in Public Spaces

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Earlier this year the death of Sarah Everard provoked an outpouring of grief and anger. A vigil marking her death descended into violence and thousands of social media-posts were shared detailing experiences of attack and threats against women in public spaces. Although the attempted rape of Kate Dickinson by the military officer Valentine Baker had a less tragic conclusion, the response to his assault on her in a railway carriage, which resulted in her hanging out of the train door for several miles until rescue came, provoked a very similar reaction across the nation. The ability for a woman to travel freely, to walk the streets without let or hindrance, was a topic of hot debate. There were many men who felt that with women becoming increasingly emancipated, and more involved in walks of life traditionally the preserve of men only, they simply had to accept as inevitable, the fact that they were at greater risk. Who was responsible for women's safety, and whether or not there were practical solutions like the re-design of railway carriages so that there was both access by way of a corridor and directly onto the platform, were discussed in newspapers and journals. Jonathan and his team explore the debate back then and the anger now about what may or may not happen to insure what to most is a basic freedom - to walk the streets in safety. Producer; Tom Alban

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