A candlelit vigil will be held Friday evening in Nessa’s south London neighborhood, to honor her life and demand action to improve safety for women and girls, organizers said. Other gatherings have been planned across Britain in solidarity.
London’s Metropolitan Police said on Thursday that a 38-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of Nessa’s killing, and released closed-circuit television (CCTV) images of another man and a silver vehicle linked to the case, issuing an appeal to the public for more information.
“We would ask anyone — especially those in Kidbrooke and the wider area of Lewisham and Greenwich — to take a careful look at these images to check whether you know who this man is or have seen him over recent days,” said Neil John, detective chief inspector from the Met’s specialist crime command.
“Our team have been working tirelessly to find the person responsible for Sabina’s murder and this has included an extensive trawl of CCTV, work which remains ongoing,” John added.
Everard went missing after leaving a friend’s house in Clapham, south London, on May 3. Her body was found a week later, more than 50 miles from where she was last seen. Her killer, a serving police officer, pleaded guilty to her kidnap, rape and murder.
Her murder prompted an outpouring across social media from women sharing their own experiences of sexual assault and harassment, catapulting the UK’s damning record on violence against women and girls into the national spotlight.
More than 200 women were killed between March 2019 and 2020 in the UK, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Scottish government.
Following Nessa’s death, many are pointing out that little has changed. In a message posted to Twitter on Wednesday, Women’s Equality Party leader Mandu Reid said: “The media have been asking today: have things gotten better since Sarah Everard’s murder? The answer is NO.”
In the week since Nessa’s murder, the national conversation has refocused on the lack of safety for women in public spaces, which further deteriorated during the coronavirus pandemic and associated lockdowns. And, once again, campaigners, politicians and Britons are demanding that the government tackle the epidemic of violence against women and girls.
British politicians including London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Member of Parliament Janet Daby, who represents the borough where Nessa taught, have demanded that the government act swiftly to save lives.
“How many women’s lives most be stolen before this government takes serious action?” she said.
On Thursday, Greenwich Council told CNN that they had handed out 200 personal alarms to women and vulnerable residents in the borough this week “following the horrific murder of Sabina Nessa.”
The small device can be attached to keys and handbags or held, and activate a loud alarm in the event of an attack, a Greenwich Council spokesperson said in a statement, adding that the alarms have been distributed at events since 2019.
But activists stress that women shouldn’t have to be on the defense. A report from a police watchdog in July said that “radical,” cross-sector reform is needed to protect women and girls from an “epidemic” of crime.
Anna Birley, from the women’s safety organization Reclaim These Streets, which is assisting the Kidbrooke community with Friday’s vigil for Nessa, said that in spite of a slew of reports on women’s safety, little had been done by the government to protect them.
“The Government has promised more streetlights and CCTV — but if violence against women and girls could be solved by a few more lampposts, the problem would have been solved long ago.”
Source : Nbcnewyork