"Hear this from a man.We need to be better"Jake Bennett from Norfolk speaks out on #NotAllMen
A West Norfolk man has come forward on social media amidst the #NotAllMen debate with a powerful message for others of his sex: "We need to be better."
Jake Bennett, 22, a video editor from Downham, shared his poignant message with the public in a video addressing the recent dialogue surrounding Sarah Everard.
The case, which still has to come to trial, sparked a wave of admissions from women across the UK about the many times they felt unsafe due to their gender.
In response to the perceived implicitness of these confessions, many male social media users used the #NotAllMen slogan.
#NotAllMen is seen as an evasion of accountability by many and has had an outpouring of harsh criticism all over social media.
Mr Bennett said in his video: "I want to apologise to all of the women who have feared me when they have heard my footsteps, or seeming like I could have hurt you in that moment.
"If there are guys watching I want to challenge you directly. Hear this from a man, we need to be better. Ask your female friends and family what makes them feel safe.
"Put to death the stupid manly ideal about doing things because your mates do them. Be teachable. Losing a friend or family member is more than worth it for keeping your daughters,grandmothers, wives, girlfriends, sisters and mothers safe.
"It may not be all men. But if you see a woman on her own how does she know you aren't one of those men who does unspeakable things?
"I want to be an example for guys. We shouldn't respond to this defensively, it's arrogant. snap out of it and think about what you are advocating through what you are not doing and not saying."
Mr Bennett's mother Alex Coates, shared his post across the Lynn and Downham community pages, in a bid to get her son's message heard.
Mr Bennett said: "Since I put the video up I've had so many messages from women saying that they have felt unsafe and thanking me for the video."
He told the Lynn News: "To put it bluntly: wake up. This is 97 per cent of women you know, you just need to put yourself in someone's shoes for a moment. As equals in our society women deserve to feel safe. Even fast approaching footsteps can feel intimidating.
"If you see something happening outside of a pub or club even inside, you can intervene in a non-aggressive way, rather than being a bystander witnessing harassment ."
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk has shared a message with the public following the Sarah Everard case, urging residents to have their say on violence against women.
Lorne Greene said:"Tackling crimes that disproportionately affect women and girls – such as domestic abuse, sexual violence and rape - has been a priority for police and partner agencies across our county during my term as PCC.
"We’ve come a long way, ensuring Norfolk has the right people, with the right skills and the right resources, in place to safeguard and support those affected and bring offenders to justice, but there is a great deal more that can be done."
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