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Students use chalk slogans across campus to raise awareness for women’s safety

Slogans advocating for women’s safety emerged around University buildings this week, including at King’s College, The Powis Gates, and the University sports training ground.

By: Olivia Mackenzie Smith

Photograph courtesy of Jeevan Bains.

A group of university students created slogan displays on campus to raise awareness for women’s safety on campus on 15 March.

The displayed slogans began to turn heads at the University's campus, including at King’s College, the sports playing field, and under the University of Aberdeen sign at the entrance to the campus on King Street.

The small group of students said their motivation for the initiative was to “speak up and keep raising awareness” for women’s safety following the international discussion sparked by the death of Sarah Everard earlier this month.

Some chalk slogans around The University of Aberdeen campus read: “Sarah Everard is all of us except we made it home”, “Your testimony is valid”, and “Dear Sarah, it wasn’t your fault”.

As part of the initiative, Claire Synnott said: ‘My whole friendship group is part of the 97%...We feel like we can’t do enough to support this movement, especially with Covid.’

Synnott said that the slogans have ‘helped educate some people as I’ve received positive messages about it, boys have said there is less stigma to talk about it right now”.

When asked about the role of university groups in promoting women’s safety, she added that: ‘University official pages and societies need to do more... If students and staff are educated, and also understand that it does happen to their friends and family, then it helps us feel safer.’

‘If the University said “survivors, we believe you”, it would be so significant.’

Synnott added that despite receiving overwhelming support for the cause, she has also received negative comments regarding her online activism.

‘For the [slogans], I have not directly faced backlash. But for the posts I made on my page, some boys felt the need to comment rude things and try to devalue the post’, she said, before continuing, ‘I think it’s absolutely horrible to detract from the life of Sarah Everard.’

Miss Synnott said, ‘To all people, educate yourselves. And if anyone wants support or someone to talk about their own personal stories with, I am available on all social media, as a fellow victim I’m here to support and I believe you.”

Support and information can be found on the Women’s Aid website.


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