Violence against women, walking without fear

Alix Sampson a young, bisexual and socially innovative woman from the inner north of Melbourne, Australia joins the So…Podcast to talk about her community connection project that (literally) walks the talk. Brunswick Sole Mates, was an idea that Alix “birthed organically” in response to issues that had been challenging her local community. She loves to walk around her neighbourhood, before work, after work, usually when the sun is coming up or going down. But lately, Melbourne has felt unsafe for people walking alone, especially women. Several violent attacks against women had made not only Alix, but many members of the community feel unsafe when going for walks. For Alix, the answer was not to simply stay indoors. Nothing was going to stop her from doing what she wanted to do. So she took things into her own hands (or feet?) and created safety for herself and her community; a local walking group. Brunswick Sole Mates has since flourished into a group that is almost 1000 members strong. “All genders, faiths, cultural backgrounds, sexual orientations, identities, ages, levels of ability and fitness are welcome.” Brunswick Sole Mates Facebook Group Description (Alix Sampson) It’s not only a group for the socially inclined, the Sole Mates also love to go on ‘antisocial walks’ where people can walk alongside each other and feel no pressure to talk with others. It has become an inclusive space that fosters community connection and empowers personal autonomy. It allows for all members of the community to come together and feel safe, free to walk without fear.

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*Transcript of this interview is also available*

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