Opinion · Personal

How Are Women Supposed to Trust the Police?

How Are Women Supposed to Trust the Police?As a white English woman, I’ve always tried to be aware of my privilege. I don’t get profiled by the police for crimes because of my skin colour or religion, I’ve never had to teach my kids strategies for dealing with overly aggressive law enforcement and I’ve largely felt that the police were on my side and could be trusted. I could be pulled over in my car and not have to worry about it.

Sure, there’s been a long-running culture of police protecting their own, but closing ranks isn’t unique to one profession. I’ve got good friends in the police force, people who I’d trust with my life and I know I’m lucky to have been in this position.

Since hearing about the Sarah Everard case earlier this year, my feelings have started to change. I live in the sticks and I’m the only driver, so I spend a lot of time driving along quiet country lanes by myself. Just this week, I had a police car driving behind me at night and I felt very unsure. If I were to be pulled over, what should I do? I’m the last person who’d engage in a high-speed chase with the police, but at the same time, would I feel safe being pulled over at night on a deserted country lane? Not any more.

Sarah Everard’s killer abused his privilege in every way imaginable. He used his police credentials to stop her, he got her into his car under the pretence of an arrest and he had the chance to destroy evidence ahead of being arrested because he knew there were colleagues of his posted outside his house.

His colleagues also failed. Stories have emerged that not only was he reported for indecent exposure on more than one occasion and was never properly investigated, his fellow officers at the station where he worked branded him “The Rapist”. If you had a colleague about whom you had serious concerns like this, a colleague with powers to allow him to control other people, what would you do? Probably go to the authorities, right?

Oh…oh dear.

So, what do I tell my kids to do now? Husband and I are probably bordering on the psychotic when it comes to the safety of our kids, but that’s how we’ve always done things. When we’re out in public places, the lesson has always been “find a policeman” if we get separated or something bad happens. We’ve brought our kids up to trust the police and go to them in times of trouble.

I legitimately don’t know if I can do that anymore.

I’m aware that one “bad apple” (and I’ll be honest, I hate that phrase and really don’t think it does justice to refer to a murdering rapist in such louche terms) doesn’t mean that every police officer is untrustworthy, but the whole system of ignoring criminal behaviour and turning a blind eye for fear of alienating colleagues really does not do much for my faith. I don’t think I would be so quick to tell my daughters to be totally trusting of the police anymore, that’s for sure.

Since I started writing this, the Metropolitan Police released some guidance on how women should react if they’re stopped by a lone police officer – their solution is for women to try “shouting out to a passerby, running into a house, knocking on a door, waving a bus down or, if you are in the position to do so, calling 999.” – they also said that women should feel able to challenge an officer and ask to see their credentials. I really fail to see how this would help, given the fact that Sarah Everard’s killer HAD police credentials and she trusted his actions in arresting her. This also is completely useless if you’re in a secluded location.

I’m not trying to say that I understand what it’s like to be part of a marginalised group of society like the BAME community does, not by a long shot. However, being a woman can make you feel incredibly vulnerable at times. There are already things I can’t do, places I can’t go and certain times during which I should be safely locked indoors, but without feeling like I can put my faith in the police, that window of opportunity feels EVEN smaller to me.

But, the point I’m making in a very roundabout way is this – if I don’t feel safe telling my daughters to go to the police for help and put 100% of their faith in them, what the hell do I tell them now?

Fashion and Style

Dressing for Success: What Are 5 Essential Components of a Women’s Business Outfit?

I know; morphing from a beauty diva whose closet has dozens and dozens of casual attire to a smart and decent business lady isn’t easy. You possibly can’t even fathom the prospect of looking stylish on an official outfit, different from your usual casual, attire!

Looking chic on a business outfit

You only have to discern which clothes match with which other one and the mojo to navigate vaguer social rules and dress to kill. And you don’t even have to do a complete overhaul of your current collection or even spend a fortune, shopping for an entirely new set.

Just a little new set of selected types of official women’s attire and you are fully ready to start “slaying” again on your new outfit. There are over five main components that make up an ideal women’s business attire.

1. Start with a well-knitted blazer

Out of all women’s official wear, you will need, a blazer shouldn’t miss. And whether you are new to the world of office wear or not, spotting a nice, cute and quality blazer isn’t hard. Go for something that’s nicely cut and knitted to perfection, slim and fitting, especially on your arms.
The good thing with a blazer – bold colours are cool, is that it goes with pretty much any other attire. It goes well with your dress, that skirt or even that only black pant you love wearing to official gatherings.

2. Accessorize well

Nothing completes a killer look of a smart, focused professional businesswoman more than a nice watch, a beautiful necklace, and a matching earring. Coordinating jewelry with your office attire isn’t hard, provided you learn more about which fashionable brands are good for you. The same is true for a watch.

But for someone who probably has never shopped for a timepiece before, I’d suggest that you don’t splurge on one of those super-expensive brands. Just go for something that will look nice on your wrist and still match with a majority of what’s in your wardrobe.

3. A Beautiful To-The-Knee Dress

Once in a while, you will need to remind everyone that the chic, fashionista in you isn’t dead yet. While doing this, however, choose a well-cut dress that’s thick and flattering, but comfortable when put on.

Naturally, dresses are fantastic for business meetings for they ooze elegance and sheer sophistication. But it’s also an instant choice that doesn’t disappoint during one of those days when you can’t decide what to wear. Just make sure you go for solid coloured dresses – sleeveless or not.

4. IMPORTANT: roomy, high-quality handbag

Don’t forget to tag along with a cute handbag. Work bags that are a little bit of everything; professional, but not too roomy, and not too bulky, will accentuate the calm and organized business woman in you. Ideally, your handbag should be able to comfortably carry all your essentials and still feel comfortable to walk with.

5. Cute, comfortable heels

I’ll not talk about flats and ankle strap (or sneakers) official shoes for women because they are part of everyone’s staples. When it comes to heels, however, it’s okay to have at least a pair – just in case. Pointy or not; super-high or not, your choice should, however, feel comfortable to put on and trendy with your overall office wear.

Going through this list, you should feel confident investing in them, especially if you are considering buying a couple for a start. Other outfits to consider are a beautiful, bold-coloured blouse and a beautiful pencil skirt. The best thing is to have a perfect blend of them so that, choosing what to pair with which another one becomes a breeze!

Work

Work Rights All Women Need to Know

Protecting yourself at work is something that everyone needs to do. However, it can be even more important for parents because you have a family to support. You need to be aware of your legal rights at any time, but when you’re a parent, you often need to take certain factors into consideration. Parenting can require you to leave work suddenly or need to take time off, among other things. All mums and mums-to-be should be aware of their rights at work, and so should dads. Here are some of the rights you have that you should be familiar with.

Office Business Woman Entrepreneur Notepad Notes

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General Working Rights

There are plenty of working rights that apply to everyone, but that are especially relevant to women. Women are more likely to work on a “zero-hours contract” – 52% of people on zero-hours contracts are women. Women are also much more likely than men to work part-time – nearly three-quarters of part-time workers are women. Because some working rights are affected by the hours you work, such as statutory holiday time, it’s important to be aware of which rights you have. For example, for each day you work in a week, you are entitled to 5.6 days of paid holiday if you’re a permanent employee.

Discrimination

Anyone can be discriminated against in the workplace due to their gender, age, race or ethnicity, disability, religion, or marital status. The 2010 Equality Act is an important piece of legislation to be aware of if you want to know how to spot and combat discrimination at work. The law bans discrimination based on a number of factors in the workplace and during the recruitment process. Women should also be aware that discrimination due to pregnancy is illegal, and that potential employers can’t ask about pregnancy during interviews. Discrimination can be direct or indirect, as well as including harassment and victimisation.

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Maternity and Parental Rights

It’s also important to know about the law surrounding maternity and parenting. Maternity leave and maternity pay are both required under the law for employees counted as workers. This doesn’t include agency workers, casual workers, or anyone on a zero-hours contract. Your statutory maternity leave rights include up to a year’s leave. You must take at least two weeks off, or four if you work in a factory. If your average pay before tax is more than £113 a week, your employee must pay you maternity pay. You might get contractual maternity pay instead, or possibly maternity allowance if you can’t get maternity pay.

Flexible Working Rights

Flexible working is also a common choice for parents. It includes any changes to your normal working hours, including flexitime, working from home, or job sharing. Many mums choose flexible working because it makes parenting and working more manageable. You might be entitled to make a statutory request for flexible working, which must be negotiated using a certain process under the law. You need to be an employee who has worked for your employer for at least 26 weeks.

You should always be knowledgeable about your rights at work. Keep up to date with any changes so that you know what challenges you might face.

Fashion and Style

Treating Myself with David Nieper

David NieperWhen it comes to buying clothes, Husband and I seem to be diametrically opposed in our attitudes. Whilst I tend to opt for cheap and cheerful, he tends to buy more expensive items and, in principle, it may seem like he spends more than me but his clothes are better quality and therefore last him a lot longer – he always jokes that he owns clothes which are actually older than me! He’s always encouraging me to buy myself nice, more expensive things but I can never seem to get my head around spending money on myself, however I recently discovered luxury womenswear from David Nieper and it’s making me change my mind!

David Nieper (who is actually a person, not just a faceless brand) has created a reputation for creating luxury womenswear which is all designed and made right here in England, so as well as getting homegrown talent in your wardrobe, you’re massively cutting the carbon footprint of your clothes by buying domestically because nothing needs to be flown halfway around the world.

One incredible detail, which I’ve never seen on clothes before, is that each garmet you buy is actually checked and signed by hand by the principle seamstress before it’s sent to you, giving you the ultimate personal touch.

David Nieper personal touch

Something which really caught my eye about David Nieper is the lingerie collection. Finding well made bras in large sizes can be a huge problem, but this store actually offers well-made bras which go up to an H-cup, giving women with a large bust a great option for buying their undies.

As if all of that wasn’t impressive enough, I also discovered that David Nieper offers an individual size service, where you provide your measurements (should they be different to ‘standard’ sizing) and they’ll provide you with garments which are made to your exact specifications. Not only this, but they also offer an alteration service for their clothes, so if you need something made shorter in the arm or leg, for instance, they’ll do this for you too!

If you have a woman in your life with discerning tastes, David Nieper also offer gift vouchers, starting at £25, which they will send to you with a luxury gift card (left blank for your message) and I think these would make brilliant presents for birthdays and Christmas – who doesn’t love being given the gift of being able to shop?!

David Nieper is different from pretty much any other shop I’ve ever encountered and it’s clear that the personal service they offer is why they’ve been in business for so long. Head over to the site to see their ranges and experience it all for yourself.

Uncategorized

The morning after pill: know the facts

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When it comes to emergency contraception, it pays to be in the know. Although you might think you’re clued up on the morning after pill, it could be that you’re confusing fact and fiction. So that you’re up to speed on this subject, keep reading.

It’s easily accessible

The morning after pill can be easily accessed from a variety of places, including your GP, your local chemist and sexual health clinics, and you can even purchase it from an online pharmacy such as Click Pharmacy. This is especially useful if you’re too embarrassed to approach your doctor or a pharmacist in-person. If you decide to use the morning after pill, you will be asked a few simple health-related questions to ensure it’s suitable for you.

It’s more effective the sooner it’s taken

While it’s name suggests differently, the morning after pill can be effective for a number of days after sex. There are two types of emergency contraception available – Levonelle and ellaOne. Levonelle can work for up to three days after sex, while ellaOne can be effective for up to five days. Despite this, it’s important to remember that the sooner the morning after pill is taken, the more effective it will be at preventing pregnancy.

Using it is not the same as having an abortion

It is a common misconception that using the morning after pill is the same as having an abortion. The truth is, these two things are completely different. While an abortion terminates a pregnancy that has already begun, emergency contraception works to prevent an egg from becoming fertilised or implanted in the first place.

It will not affect your long-term fertility

Although it may have a temporary effect on your ability to fall pregnant, there is no evidence to suggest that using the morning after pill can lead to long-term fertility problems. However, you should note that this type of emergency contraception is not intended for continuous use. It’s also important to recognise that it shouldn’t be used as a replacement for another method of contraception, such as the combined pill.

There are some potential side effects

Like most medicines, the morning after pill can cause some side effects. The most common ones include nausea, abdominal pain, headaches, tender breasts and feeling tired and dizzy. If you are sick after taking it, you should speak to your doctor or pharmacist immediately as you may need to take another dose.

Keeping this information in mind should give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing this treatment is available should you need to use it.