Last month, many of us were shocked and saddened by the death of Sarah Everard, who disappeared on her way home from visiting a friend. Her body was later found in Woodland in Kent. Her death has resulted in many conversations about women’s safety and the prevalence of sexual harassment against women: a study from the U.N women found that 97% of women aged 18-24 have been subject to sexual harassment, a figure many women will find unsurprising.
In response to the death of Sarah Everard, and the subsequent conversations about violence against women, Peggy’s supervisors Feena Moffat and Beth Maudsley wanted to use Peggy’s popular stickers to create something impactful. They collaborated with designer and fashion student Meg McWilliam (@megmcart) to produce fun stickers with an empowering message. Meg told us that she wanted her designs ‘to be very camp, but also put the message across’. ‘I create my art to look appealing and satirical but also to withhold important messages. I think by making snappy little art pieces perhaps more people will listen as they’re not “boring”.’
Feena told us that, ‘Through this campaign, we wanted to use Peggy’s convivial and outlandish branding style to create our beloved stickers, however this time with powerful connotations which highlight the significance of such a poignant issue that affects us all. As a company, we want people and ALL WOMEN to know that we are listening, we care and we are trying to educate and implement strategies in which we can make an impact towards the importance of not only acknowledging sexual harassment but also preventing it.
Extra Fancy [parent company of Peggy’s and KiKi’s Tiki] has and will always remain to uphold a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual harassment in our establishments. We want all our venues and outside events to be a welcoming space for everyone to feel safe enough to enjoy themselves guilt-free without questioning their choice of clothing or their action.’
Feena also stresses the importance of this campaign, ‘The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) provides the best measure of victimisation and estimated that for the year ending March 2020 there were 773,000 adults aged 16 to 74 years who were victims of sexual assault (including attempts) in the last year, with almost four times as many female victims (618,000) as male victims (155,000).
‘No woman should EVER feel unsafe when out alone, and it’s bizarre to think that instead of men being taught not to harass and abuse, women are simply told to be more careful and to not put themselves in that position. Both Beth and I, and I’m sure countless other women, have had to deal with unwanted sexual remarks and passes on a daily basis. Even something as simple and seemingly unharmful as getting beeped at whilst walking along the pavement – why is this and should this be tolerated?
‘People cannot just turn a blind eye, if your mate is being a dickhead, call them out. If you see it happening in the workplace, tell someone. This is a collective effort and we all need to be responsible for trying to stop it from happening.’
Meg said she believes it’s particularly important that a nightlife venue is promoting these issues, ‘I think in a club environment especially sexual assault and harassment is kind of normalised as like just “lad behaviour” and a lot of people get away with it with the excuse they were drunk’. ‘I think showing outwardly that Peggys is totally against stuff like this could really make people who perhaps wouldn’t usually be comfortable going to clubs feel at ease that they’re actually taking action and promoting this message. Sexual harassment happens everywhere and we were all even more aware with the figure of 97% of women being sexually harassed etc when it made the news, I think it’s a really taboo topic that people need to speak more about and hold people accountable too because it’s honestly a scary place to be a woman right now especially seeing how the police are handling things.’
The campaign was launched on both Peggy’s and Meg’s social media accounts, which have over 6000 followers combined. The stickers will be available free of charge at Peggy’s next week.