The juxtaposition of the events of last week will not have been lost on women.

It felt starkly like when we first learned of the murder of Sarah Everard in March. On the one hand it was ‘feministmas’ aka International Women’s Day, and on the other, yet another woman had been lost to the violence that plagues us.

Last Wednesday, I stood with many others to be a part of herstory (not history), at the unveiling of our first statue of a real woman in Wales.

The National Wales: Members of the Campbell family (left) taking a selfie with the statue, which was made by artist Eve Shepherd (right). Images: Glenn EdwardsMembers of the Campbell family (left) taking a selfie with the statue, which was made by artist Eve Shepherd (right). Images: Glenn Edwards

We watched in awe at how sculptor Eve Shephard had so wonderfully portrayed what Betty Campbell stood for.

At the same time, our social media feeds were an endless reel of anger and rage at the facts emerging about Sarah Everard’s ordeal.

Sarah was murdered by an officer who represented authority, trust and the upholding of public safety; yet it is women who speak out against this travesty, whilst men in positions of power tell us how we need to change our behaviours.

The National Wales: Sarah EverardSarah Everard

Back in March, watching the heavy-handed approach of the Metropolitan Police as they manhandled mourners to the ground, our online vigil seemed far from events in London.

Last week, as happy tears fell whilst listening to children from Mount Stuart Primary sing as the monument was unveiled, I realised that Betty Campbell is our overdue symbol of hope that women in Wales should be equal in society.

What women feel now is a collective frustration that the endemic violence against us is not being addressed. The daily actions we take to avoid male violence have become normalised and accepted behaviours.

“Don’t run in the dark, don’t make eye contact, don't get drunk, ignore the catcalls, tell someone where you’re going and when you get home, keep your keys in your hand and your earphones out, don’t let your car betray your ‘girlyness’, dress sexy but not too much, lower your school skirt so the boys aren’t distracted, wear shorts in the playground for handstands.”

These are all things that women experience as part of their daily lives. We are exhausted by this battle, and it is time everyone played their rightful part for a safer and just society.


Practically every woman I speak with has her own experience of misogyny. We are not just talking about the hatred of women, but the entrenched prejudice against us and the subsequent detrimental impact on our society.

Why are we policing what girls wear in school (as per St Martin’s School in Caerphilly), rather than focusing on ensuring all young people understand consent and what constitutes violence against women and girls?

Why are we telling women how to stay safe instead of holding men to account for their actions?

We all have the power to take a stand against intersectional misogyny. So, if you see, hear or read unjust behaviour towards a woman, speak up.

READ MORE: Betty Campbell statue must start new era for racial justice

Betty Campbell should never have been told that her dreams were insurmountable. She is our heroine not only for overcoming immense barriers to success but because she lifted others up behind her.

Be like Betty, use your power, and together we can create a society where all women can safely walk our streets without fear.

Sarah Rees is a feminist campaigner. 

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