Photo: AP, AFP
The killing of a young woman has stirred emotions in Great Britain these days. Not only because Sarah Everard was murdered by a police officer, but also because British women are using the case to give collective testimony about the fear they feel when they walk down the street alone.
Sarah Everard, 33, left a friend’s house around 9 pm last Wednesday (March 3) for a 50-minute walk to her home in Brixton, a neighborhood in south London. During that walk, she called her friend for another 15 minutes and was photographed three more times by CCTV. But the woman will never get home. It was her boyfriend who raised the alarm a day later and reported to the police about her disappearance.
A major search began, with diving teams investigating the nearby ponds. without result. Everard’s body was found lifeless in the bush in Ashford, fifty kilometers in Kent, on Wednesday. The body was wrapped in the so-called Big bag, Used in the construction sector, among other things. Even the remains had to be identified by their teeth.
Soon one suspect was arrested: Wayne Cousins, 48, a man who had been working in London for two years. Metropolitan PoliceHe was responsible for guarding the diplomatic buildings. He appeared for the first time before a judge on Saturday, confirming his arrest. He is accused of kidnapping and murder and is due to appear in court again on Tuesday.
This case causes a lot of emotion in Great Britain. Under the hashtag #SarahEverard, women on social media collectively denote their fear of going home alone at night, or how men intimidate or sexually abuse them. For example, Diane Abbott, a Member of Parliament, wrote: “If I walked alone on the street late at night and heard a man’s footsteps behind me, then even after all these years I would automatically cross the road.”
The British police’s call for women not to go out alone at night also sparked a lot of criticism. “It is not normal for women to change their behavior for their own safety: women are not the problem,” said activist Anna Burley.
It also wanted to hold a vigil for Everard in London on Saturday, but it was canceled. The initiators of the “Take Back These Streets” initiative – due to the Coronavirus measures in place in the country – were told, “Each of us will be fined £ 10,000. (€ 11,650, ed.) Risks if the event continues. ”Similar vigils have also been canceled in other parts of the country for this reason. Instead, there will be vigils and donations online. By Saturday afternoon, more than £ 100,000 had already been raised.