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The BE LADS campaign was launched by Poppy Murray in March 2021 in the wake of the tragic case of Sarah Everard, who was kidnapped, raped and murdered by a serving Metropolitan Police Officer as she walked home alone in London.

The Sarah Everard case prompted thousands of women to share their stories and fears about their safety when walking alone. In response, the hashtag “notallmen” started trending, as men expressed feeling vilified over the issue. “Reclaim These Streets” protests then took place across the UK, with protestors voicing their frustration about being unsafe walking alone.

As it became clear that the Sarah Everard case was dividing the public, Poppy created BE LADS to bring all demographics together on the issue. BE LADS is an acronym for advice that can be followed to help women feel safer walking alone by raising awareness of the issue without vilifying one gender over the other.

A UN Women UK survey in 2021 showed that

97% of women between the ages of 18 and 24 have been sexual harassed, and that 80% of respondents had been sexually harassed in a public space.

Sexual abuse and sexual violence disproportionately affect women as victims. Perpetrators of these crimes are disproportionately male.

BE LADS explains the issue without vilifying men and, instead, gives them advice on the role they can play in being allies to women and to support all members of the public, including their family, friends, colleagues and peers.

BE LADS quickly gained traction within educational settings, law enforcement and community groups. The continued widespread success of the BE LADS campaign evidences the value of the message and the advantages of an all-inclusive campaign which is suitable for, and relevant to, all demographics.