Ulrika used an appearance on Lorraine this week to address violence against women, and the need to educate young men.
“The case of Sarah Everard has brought back lots of feelings that I think in some respects have been, you know, we haven’t been dwelling on because we have been in the middle of a pandemic and we are thinking about lots of other things.
“I suddenly just reflected on the fact that every single woman that I know, my close friends, some extended friends, have had some form of harassment or violence, verbal, physical or whatever. And I was actually quite horrified by that realisation.” – former Good Morning Britain weather presenter, Ulrika Jonsson
On the advice her late dad gave her when she first came to London as a teenager, Ulrika recalled that he told her to ‘keep a big coat in the back of my car, to try maybe possibly to walk in the middle of the road as opposed to on the dark pavement and also to have my keys in my hand and just be ready and be prepared.’
She also went on to note how she would ‘just stop and pretend to be looking in my handbag and let somebody pass me because I felt intimidated by a man walking behind me.’ The former Good Morning Britain weather presenter noted how it is ‘so ironic that I accepted, so many women have accepted that that is how we should behave.’
The mum of four, who has two sons and two daughters, also discussed how her eldest son Cameron sent a heartfelt message to his sisters last week.
“I was quite surprised. He set up a group chat with his sisters who are 20 and 16 and I was worried he was going to say something dreadful had happened but he just wanted to say that for every one man who would want to harm a woman, there are many who would die defending her and he takes responsibility for the fact that men need to be part of the societal change that needs to take place. And I was moved to tears by this… He is part of the next generation and he took the initiative to reassure his sisters, which I thought was wonderful.”
The personality who became a household name thanks to regular appearances with Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer on BBC Two’s Shooting Stars also discussed how self defence isn’t a solution on its own.
“We talk about teaching girls self defence and I did self defence classes when I was in my teens. I am guessing if someone did attack me, I am not sure how much I would remember of that… I think those sort of things are really useful but at the roots we need to really be having healthy conversations with men because not every young boy is brought up in a household of equity and equality.
“They are products of their environment so it is a conversation that needs to happen in schools. That is the only way, through education. Who knows if we will ever be able to stop this, but we need to give it a damn good go.”
Lorraine weekdays from 9am on ITV and catch up on the ITV Hub