‘Use this if you feel unsafe’: The TikTok trend protecting against sexual harassment
TikTok users have found an inventive way to warn off sexual predators by just playing one simple video.
The videos, tagged “Use this sound if you feel unsafe”, make it seem like you’re having a phone conversation with a friend or parent.
Often, they include phrases like “where are you? Oh that’s like 5 minutes away. I’ll start walking to meet you.”
Young women are playing these videos if they feel uncomfortable walking home at night or in a taxi. They pretend to engage in the conversation, making it seem like someone is expecting them.
The idea is that harassers will be put off if they know friends or family are close by, or if the person’s phone location services are switched on.
Amber May Hutton has started creating these videos since Londoner Sarah Everard was killed.
“I’d seen a few people doing it and I thought it’d be a good idea because a lot of my followers are young girls,” she said.
Check out one of her videos here:
Amber hopes that videos like these can make her followers a little more confident when they’re out and about on their own:
“While I don’t think that the video would necessarily stop someone being sexually harassed, it might cause the attacker to second guess whether it’s worth the risk.”Amber May Hutton, TikTok influencer
She wants to change the “oh well I’m a woman so I just have to take it” mentality. “Absolutely not”, she says, “I think we’re slowly steering away from that, but we still have a long way to go.”
She’s referring to an outpouring of support for Sarah Everard that has come since her death. Women have gathered in towns and cities across the UK for vigils and Reclaim the Night demonstrations.
Reclaim the Night started in Leeds back in 1977 after women were warned by the police not to stay out after dark. This was following the infamous ‘Yorkshire Ripper’ murders.
Why does Reclaim the Streets still need to operate, 44 years after it began? Violence and harassment against women is still a major part of our everyday lives.
According to UN Women UK, 97% of women in the UK between 18-24 years-old have been sexually harassed.
Clearly, something needs to change. This TikTok trend is just the most recent way of doing it.