The Horrifying Attack On Yasmin Evans Shows Us How Getting Home After A Night Out Is Still Unsafe For Women

She was beaten until losing consciousness after telling a man ‘no’.

Yasmin Evans assault

by Lydia Spencer-Elliott |

We’re used to hearing the phrase ‘don’t walk home alone at night’. When Sarah Everard was killed in March 2021, police officers advised women to stay inside. Similarly, when Peter Sutcliffe committed the Yorkshire Ripper murders in the 70s, Reclaim The Night protests erupted across Leeds after women were instructed to stay home after dark.

But there is no way for women to safeguard against male violence – and it’s not our responsibility to, either. Heart Radio’s Yasmin Evans was walking (with a friend) when she was brutally beaten by a group of three men last week. All she was doing was trying to catch her train home in the early hours of the morning.

‘A man grabbed my arm and I refused him,’ Evans told her Instagram followers of the horrifying incident. ‘He then proceeded to argue and punch me in the face, which then knocked me out cold twice along with the person I was with.

‘Three black guys and a guy who was mixed race all punched and kicked me while I was on the ground,’ she continued. ‘Knocked me out twice whilst saying “just because you’re a woman doesn’t mean I won’t fuck you up”. I’ve called the police but if anyone was on Liverpool Street and saw anything please contact me.’

It’s sickening that simply saying ‘no’ to a man’s advances is a genuinely dangerous thing to do. And women on Twitter were equally terrified and enraged by the attack. ‘This is absolutely awful; how can we start protecting ourselves on streets? I’m slowly becoming to scared to leave the house at nights,’ admitted one user. ‘Some men feel so entitled and cannot take rejection,’ added another. ‘Women being safe is not even close to a reality, is it?’ questioned a third.

And, sadly, they’re right – safety for women from male violence is very far away from the truth of the society we’re currently living in. In the last year on record, 177 women were murdered - 92% of them by men. There were 690,929 stalking and harassment incidents and (over the same period) sexual assault and rape reports were also at an all-time high, according to the Office of National Statistics.

Since Evans was attacked, two witnesses have contacted her and her friend in the hope that they can help identify the men who assaulted them. But, even if the attackers are caught, women shouldn’t be risking their lives every time they step out of their front door. We should be able to feel safe walking along the street. And, when assaults like the violence Evans experienced do occur, others need to be mindful of the long-lasting trauma it can cause.

‘Still quite shocked but we are okay,’ Evans updated those wishing her well on social media after the attack. ‘Injuries may take a little healing, but we are good, a crutch is a great accessory at the moment,’ she bravely joked.

‘I am supported and not alone, decided to continue with a little bit of my day today and I appreciate you uplifting me. This is all really quite s**t isn’t it?’

On Sunday, Evans returned to work to host her show on Heart Radio just one full day after she was attacked. ‘Hobbled here. Game face (voice) on,’ she told her followers as she carried on as normal after what should have been an aberrant assault that warrants weeks to physically and mentally recover.

Nadia Khan, founder of Women In Ctrl told Grazia: 'Rejecting unwanted advances is a challenge in itself because as a woman you have to assert yourself but just enough so you don’t offend or give ‘mixed signals’.

'Women are sick and tired of having to adapt their behaviours to feel safe, it’s time for the perpetrators to change their behaviours, respect the privacy of women, stop being violent to women and if not be met with serious legal consequences.

'We are lucky Yasmin Evans is here to tell her story as the situation could have easily ended even more tragically and we need answers and change as a matter of urgency.'

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