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BBC Radio 3 Feature

BBC Radio 3 Feature

On Sunday 25 May at 19.15, Dr Rachel Hewitt will feature on BBC Radio 3 in a programme entitled Repeating Patterns in the Street Harassment of Women. A full description of the programme is listed below:

Towards the end of the 19th and in the early years of the 20th century, there was a marked increase in the reported incidents of women being harassed in public in the UK. A similar situation today was highlighted by the social media response to the death of Sarah Everard last month. New Generation Thinker Dr Rachel Hewitt of Newcastle University, explores parallels between the two periods. In both cases increasing rights for women appear to have provoked a surge in physical threat from men, particularly in public spaces. Back then it was the Married Women’s Property Act and the Matrimonial Causes Act along with the successful campaigning of the Suffragist movement that were forging real changes in women's lives.

Rachel visits Bensham Grove in Newcastle, where a refuge was established by a Quaker family who sought, through community and education, to provide women with a safe space in which to exercise their changing role in society. But when it came to their own security back then, the focus was still on the women themselves, and what they might do to avoid danger.

Rachel talks to academics Dr Stacy Gillis and Dr Liz O'Donnell about the parallels and differences between the two periods and in particular the shift today towards an emphasis on what men should be doing to bring about the public safety and security of women.

To listen to the programme, go to the BBC Radio 3 website.