Sarah Everard’s Death Sparks Debate About Women’s Safety

Sanaz Ahmadi, Senior Editor

The death of 33-year-old Sarah Everard has sparked reactions of widespread anger from women in the United Kingdom as they demand better safety measures from the government. Everard, who worked as a marketing executive, left her friend’s home in the Clapham neighborhood in London at 9 p.m. on March 3 to go back to her apartment in Brixton. Despite walking in well-lit streets and speaking to her boyfriend on the way, Everard never made it home.

  The man who was charged with her kidnapping and murder is 48-year-old Wayne Couzens, a serving police officer. After news of her abduction and death broke, women across the U.K. expressed their outrage. Many have experienced harassment on the streets or public transportation and demand they get more protection from this. Others have shared tips on how women can protect themselves, such as clenching their keys between their knuckles. 

  After a vigil for Everard was planned, the London police warned against it due to a violation of COVID-19 guidelines. The organizers called the vigil off, however, another group went ahead with it, coming into conflict with the police. The officers faced backlash because they detained and handcuffed many women, which led to protests.

  The office that oversees police said they would investigate the actions of the police. The British government is also facing backlash for pushing ahead with plans for legislation that would give the police more power in shutting down protesters. The Labour Party expressed opposition toward this legislation, saying it would vote against the bill.

  Everard’s death not only resonates with British women but all women. It shines a light on the frequent occurrence of violence and harassment against women. Women across the nation have been sharing ways for men to make women feel safer as they await Couzens’ trial which is set to begin in October.