Sarah Everard is a 33 year old woman from South London. She was a marketing executive, a daughter, and a victim of violence against women. On her 50 minute walk home to Brixton following a visit to a friend in Clapham, Sarah was murdered. On this walk she disappeared, and one week later her remains were discovered in a woodland area in a neighboring county 56 miles away. Sarah was wearing bright clothes, walked on busy streets, and it was only 9:30pm.
Sarah’s death has ignited action to discuss violence against women and girls. London activists organized a “Reclaim These Streets” vigil, although it was cancelled and is instead raising money for women’s charities. At the Clapham Common vigil, police can be seen in video pulling women, handcuffing them, and even pinning some to the ground.
The Assistant Commissioner of the police, Helen Ball, said the crowd at the vigil began to grow as people began making speeches and the police were “faced with a really difficult decision.” Home Secretary Priti Patel has asked the Metropolitan Police for a full report of what happened after witnessing “upsetting” footage online.
However, the police’s mishandling at Sarah’s vigil is not what’s most important here. Women feel connected to Sarah because what happened to her is every woman’s greatest fear. We could all be Sarah. Women are scared to walk alone, they’re scared to walk at night, and are trained to stay alert. The hashtag #textmewhenyougethome is trending right now with the goal to bring awareness to Sarah’s death, as well as bring attention to the huge problem that is violence against women at the hands of men. 97% of young women in the United Kingdom have been sexually harassed. Women don’t feel safe, and men are to blame. Protect your daughter, but also educate your son. Sarah was only walking home. Women should be able to walk home.
Police Constable Wayne Couzens has been accused with Sarah’s kidnap and murder. She was killed by the system that is meant to protect her. Upon Couzens’ arrest he was additionally charged with indecent exposure concerning an incident as a fast food restaurant three days earlier. He will go to trial in October for Sarah’s kidnap and murder.