We spoke to the founder of LSBU’s newest Women’s Safety Society
‘Everyone needs to hear the harsh realities of our lives as women’
Since the murder of Sabina Nessa and the sentencing of Wayne Couzens, Sarah Everard’s murderer, it’s become clear that women’s solidarity should be our top priority to raise awareness of the risks to women’s safety in 2021. The LSBU Women’s Safety Society, founded by second year Education Studies student Aimina Hussain, is South Bank’s newest society, and introduces this fundamental and gendered issue into the London student scene.
Having just recruited their full committee team, Women’s Safety Soc is now going from strength to strength since attending LSBU’s Freshers’ Fair, promising to give support, solidarity and awareness for women’s causes, “striving to make the future a safer place for women”.
The London Tab got in contact with president and founder, Aimina Hussain, about her new society and the impacts we can expect it to make – here’s what she said:
Tell us a bit more about yourself!
“Hi! I’m Aimina Hussain, a full-time Education Studies student at LSBU. I work part-time assisting the Students’ Union, and I’m also a Mental Health Workshop Facilitator for the charity Rethink Mental Illness. . I want to do great things in my life and touch as many lives as I can. I have an interest to go into teaching in the future but the main thing I want to be is happy.”
When and why did you decide to found Women’s Safety Society?
“I created this society recently and honestly, it was because I went through a very bad break-up. It pushed me to get up and do things.
“I’ve dealt with problems regarding my safety as a woman ever since I can remember, and I was sick of it. I was sick of all the downfalls of being a woman, all the extra things we worry about and feel like we have to think about. I decided I wanted to act. I’m not an expert on women’s safety but I’m a young woman who wants to do everything she can to protect girls, educate people, give people a safe space and investigate the issue of our safety.”
Have you had any personal experiences that contributed to you creating this society?
“There is so much in my life I’ve experienced as a woman in the past, and in my daily life, that I’ve been working on healing from and finding peace with.”
What was the response from LSBU SU and the university itself?
“Funnily enough, the response was something I’ll never forget. I was approached by the LSBU Chancellor, Sir Simon Hughes, who wanted to speak to me about my plans and ideas, and just generally wanted to know who I was.
“It was great because it was like my voice was finally being heard, and the fact that I represent so many other voices is just the best feeling.”
How has the support been from the student community at LSBU?
“The best thing about students is that we’re all in the chapter of our lives where we’re truly entering the world and figuring out ourselves. It’s the best audience to have, and feedback is like gold to us.
“I’ve also spoken to a lot of men about women’s safety through this society, and, as sad as it sounds, they’ve taken me a lot more seriously once I’ve had a chat with them. The issue at the heart of our society really does lie in the hands of everyone. Everyone needs to hear the harsh realities of our lives – not just hear, but do their part. And not just do their part for their mothers, daughters and wives, but for all women.”
Why do you think Women’s Safety Society is needed now more than ever?
“This society will, and has always been, needed. My thoughts are with Sarah Everard’s family since Wayne Couzen’s sentencing, which horrified us all, but this is one story out of the 736 million women who have been subjected to intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or both, at least once in their life.
“The problems of women’s safety include physical abuse, mental abuse, harassment, toxicity, assault, the mentalities of many men and the norms of many men’s behaviours, and they aren’t just going to go away. It is mandatory that there is due and continuous action.”
What are you biggest aims for Women’s Safety Society in the coming year?
“Some of the things I’d like to do this year include: Providing protective equipment, self-defence classes, collaborations with the Metropolitan Police, collaborations with LSBU Women’s Rugby, “speak your story” sessions, charity fundraisers, workshops for men, a rage-room event, a “how to get over the break-up” session, wellbeing events, and some fun things too! I feel like the members in my society are such a loving group of people that I want to give back to them too, and help them enjoy their lives, as it really is tough being a woman.
“There is so, so much I want to do, and I’ve been working on this society on my own for a very long time that I just want to go into the academic year with all guns blazing. I will definitely be running for President again next year because I founded this society, so it will be personal to me for my whole life.”
How did you find the recruitment for your committee?
“I love hearing people’s stories so that was my favourite part, because I really got the chance to get personal with people who felt the same passion as me. I am very happy with the team I’ve recruited. We work literally everyday haha!”
The LSBU Women’s Safety Society is still very new, and is open to all members, supporters and collaborations – to get in contact with them, email [email protected] or DM their Instagram page here. Information on how to join the society if you are an LSBU student is here. They’ve already collaborated with WalkSafe, a women’s safety app, and their next event will be a meet and greet, which you can find details of on their socials.
Aimina says: “If you are a student at LSBU, female, male or non-binary, come forward and help us create something really special.”