Security for Women
With the publicity around the alleged behaviour of Movie Mogul, Henry Weinstein, there are more stories about the way women have been treated. We, women, know it has been happening for many years. I was pleased to hear that my daughter has not had the horrific experiences that I have had. It was commonplace if one was born in the 40’s and 50’s.
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
As a nurse, I was particularly vulnerable. Not that it was so much in my work as a nurse, but some men felt that nurses were a good target for their unwanted sexual advances. I did learn that even working in a hospital one was vulnerable to male senior staff. In the 1980’s my nursing career came to an end, as I coped with the continual unwanted advances of a senior staff member. I was to learn later that other nurses let him have his way with them. It was to maintain their jobs, and that he was subsequently punished, though I don’t know the details.
Security is an Issue
I have spoken with many women in recent times when talking about the needs of senior solo women. One issue that is always raised is security. There are some things discussed.
- The vulnerability women feel, especially at night. We have an increasingly violent society – with the media every day reporting on home invasions and violence in public places. Women are constantly aware of their vulnerability!
- Women feel at risk in a variety of scenarios. Especially if they are on their own. Many reports that they have felt badly treated when buying a car, shopping, in banking and much more.
- Many women report that they do not wish to live in a housing complex where males also live. The number of men who think that a solo woman is in desperate need of sex is astounding. While some women would enjoy a romantic encounter, they don’t wish to be harassed and intimidated.
A really big problem is how solo women manage when challenges arrive. What do you do if you are unwell, and have no family or close friends nearby?
An example of this is that if one goes into public housing (and I am talking about Queensland here), you will be offered a property where the other residents could be a mix of males/females/alcoholics/drug addicts/domestic violence victims and more. I’ve spoken to women who keep to themselves as they feel a little intimidated by the other residents.
There is a perception that older women are of no value. I hear regular stories of older women being intimidated by family too.
I am particular enthusiastic about founding a housing project for senior solo women. They will feel more secure and be amongst women just like themselves – solo and seeking secure housing with plenty of support.
I’ll keep working on it.