How safe do you feel in Manchester out of 10?

‘We’re fed up of being scared’

Following the recent sexual assault near Man Met campus, personal safety is on our minds once again.

As cases like this keep happening we wanted to know what kind of an effect these incidents have had on how safe we feel in the city. So we took to campus to see what others had to say, asking them to rate how safe they felt out of ten.

What the girls said:

Sophie, second year Music
 ” A friend of a friend was chased into her house by a random stranger. When she phoned the police they spent the first hour with her telling her off because she shouldn’t have been alone so late. This view that it’s the victim’s fault needs to stop. It makes me so angry that I have to organise my day around whether it’s light enough to be out on my own. I shouldn’t  have to be ready to run whenever I’m walking home alone in the dark.”
 Kathrin, Swiss Erasmus Student
  ” In Basel where I study I don’t have a problem with walking home at three in the morning, but I would never dream of doing that here. A lot of areas aren’t well lit at night which makes me uneasy. I hate having to get a taxi every time I’m out late at night.”
Rachel, second year German and Spanish
 ” I live very near Ladybarn Road which is known for being a hotspot for attacks. I don’t feel comfortable around there late at night, as there are no patrols and it’s badly lit. Sometimes I just stay around friend’s houses to save risking it, but I shouldn’t have to do that. Having to make plans for getting home each time I go out is ridiculous.”
 Sarah, second year Music
 ” Worrying about walking around myself is a part of everyday life. I’m sick and tired of feeling scared.”
Nina, second year English lit and French
 “It’s really scary that these attacks are happening closer to campus, as this is somewhere that is well lit and patrolled regularly by security. I have seen more security around Fallowfield, but it doesn’t seem to have had much of an impact.”
Julie, first year Architecture 
 “Even though I’m new to the city I feel pretty safe here. I think Manchester has a lot of services to make us feel safer, like the safe zone in the SU, but these aren’t always open when we need them.”
Lizzie, second year Italian
“I generally feel quite safe in the city and haven’t had any problems, but I wouldn’t walk home alone at night. Normally there are lots of people around so I rarely feel uneasy, even at night.”
Eve, second year German and Chinese
“I think the culture of street and sexual violence is one of the biggest problems we’re facing as a society today. Police patrols are a short term solution, but really we need  re-educating on what is acceptable behaviour. Both boys and girls  need to be taught about consent  from an early age. Things will only change when society stops victim blaming. There needs to be more open discussions on sexual assault, so victims feel empowered to speak up against their attackers.”
Rosie, second year German
“The lack of police presence on the streets means that some people think they can do what they want, especially with women. I’m sick of feeling scared when I’m on my own at night or having to alter what I wear so I feel less vulnerable. Society’s attitude towards women needs to change, not the women.”

What the boys said:

Adam, second year Maths

“There’s a few areas and alleyways that I wouldn’t risk going down in the dark, but I’ve generally  had no problems. I know it’s different for girls though. The police aren’t doing enough to clamp down on the attacks. There are certain areas that are known for being hotspots, but there aren’t enough police patrols targeting them.”

Andy, second year IPML

“In a big city crime is inevitable. But I think society’s attitude to consent needs to change. People have different ideas of what consent is and as society doesn’t make a big deal of it,  people feel like they can do what they want. Until society makes it a big deal and starts teaching people what consent is and isn’t I don’t think much will change.”
Dom, second year English lit and French
 ” I think that you have to be careful walking around anywhere at night, and I don’t feel that Manchester is any worse than anywhere else.”