The murder of 33 year old UK women creates outburst worldwide over the mistreatment and safety of women everywhere
by: Ariana Pasquini '21
Sarah Everard, The London woman whose death has prompted the debate of safety in the UK was just walking home from a friend's house on March 3rd when she disappeared. Everard’s walk home should have taken her 50 minutes, but
even with taking well-lit and populated streets, wearing bright colors and avoiding Selfie provided by Sarah's mom to Met Police
heels, and chatting with her boyfriend over the phone it wasn't enough as her body was found just days later. With yet another heartbreaking story of a young woman's life lost we find ourselves once again asking the question: Why are women so often unsafe on the streets?
While Everard’s 2020 had been challenging she recently found herself on an upwards path: with a new job, new boyfriend, and opportunities to see friends again. It seemed unlike her to disappear without a trace, and thus worried those close to her when she didn't return home that night. It took three days after her disappearance for the Metropolitan Police Department (the Met) to release a missing persons statement alongside her photo. A day later police released footage captured by a private doorbell camera placing Sarah at Tulse Hill, just south of Brixton, at 9:30pm the night of March 3rd. Snapshots taken from the footage on the night of her disappearance were also released to the public. On March 10th, after an exhaustive search police reported the human remains of Everard inside a builders bag, identifying her through dental records. Her remains were found 50 miles away from her last known location, in the wooded areas of Ashford, Kent. Six weeks after the fact 2 post-mortem's have taken place and detectives are still unsure about the cause of death other than knowing it was not caused by natural disease.
Almost a week after Everard's disappearance the Met announced that a police officer, Wayne Couzen's had been arrested with connection to her disappearance. Couzen's who had been a part of the Met since 2018 has been confirmed to have been off duty from his normal responsibilities; uniformed patrolling of diplomatic premises - including foreign embassies in London at the time of Everard's disappearance. Couzen's is set to face trial in October with a plea hearing to be held in July. A woman who was also arrested alongside the officer in suspicion of assistance in the crime, has been bailed out until early June.
Everard's disappearance and death has caused an uproar from women in the UK, turning the personal anguish into national reckoning. As flowers and gifts pile where she disappeared, protesters raise their fist in remembrance of Everard whose life was taken too soon. Across the globe hundreds gather defying covid restrictions to gather and mourn Sarah. Protesting the violence against women, sharing experiences of threats and attacks, and the everyday fear that comes with being a woman.
Protests Break out Over the Murder of Sarah Everard
by: Hannah Trollope '22
Hundreds of thousands of people in London rally together after the shocking and devastating murder of 33-year old, Sara Everard. On the evening of March 3rd around 9 pm, Everard was just walking home by herself on the streets of South London when London’s Metropolitan Police officer, Wayne Couzens kidnapped and murdered her. Authorities confirmed the dead body of Sara Everard on Friday, March 12th; 9 days after Everard went missing. People gathered to protest in South London where Sarah Everad was last seen. Hundreds upon hundreds of people rallied together on behalf of Sarah to bring awareness of gender violence against women and girls. The protests had only a few small groups of people at first but those small groups soon expanded to crowds and would begin chanting “Shame on you!” and “How many more!” People brought signs that read ‘she was just walking home’ and ‘educate your son’, others held tea lights and brought flowers, one poster said ‘they came with flowers, you came with force’. On Saturday evening there was tension in the air as faceoffs with protesters and officers got a little intense. According to the New York Times, this response almost put the Metropolitan Police in crisis. Some protesters were unmasked and later, the court ruled out that the gathering was in fact, unlawful and goes against COVID-19 restrictions. Police were advising people to stay home and not come to the gathering because of the pandemic but no one seemed to care. In fact, Priti Patel took to twitter saying, “Some of the footage circulating online from the vigil in Clapham is upsetting. I have asked the Metropolitan Police for a full report on what happened. My thoughts remain with Sarah’s family and friends at this terrible time.” Sadiq Khan, London’s Mayor also came forward with a response on March 13 saying, “The scenes from Clapham Common are unacceptable. The police have a responsibility to enforce Covid laws but from images I've seen it's clear the response was at times neither appropriate nor proportionate.”
Protesters blocked traffic near the Westminster Bridge on a Tuesday evening as people gathered around the House Of Commons as lawmakers of parliament discussed a new policing bill. People have been very chatty in relation to how they feel about this particular bill, saying that it is too harsh and giving too much power and excessive force to police, and less power to the people. According to CBS News, you could hear people chanting “Kill the bill!” This Policing bill is the “Police, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts Bill'' and if this bill were to pass, it would essentially grant police officers more power to diminish protests and limit the voices of people that authorities consider harassment or intimidation, according to CBS News. On Big Brother Watch, Gavin Robinson, a member of Parliament has stated in a video that “The loose and wavy way this legislation is drafted would make a dictator blush”. Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick stated that she is looking to reform police powers. “specifically to deal with protests where people are not primarily violent or seriously disorderly but, as in this instance, had an avowed intent to bring policing to its knees and the city to a halt” Dick stated. According to CBS News, over 150 major human rights organizations have sent out a letter saying they believe the bill is rushed and not at all for citizen rights. The letter says, “For a country that so often prides itself on civil liberties, this Bill represents an attack on some of the most fundamental rights of citizens, in particular those from marginalised communities, and is being driven through at a time and in a way where those who will be subject to its provisions are least able to respond”. Regardless of this new policing bill, the disaparerance and murder of Sarah Everard has revealed the hidden double standard that is put onto women and the violence inflicted upon them. Not only that, but it also reveals the excessive force and power that police already abuse. Men have spoken out and have asked women what they can do to make their presence feel less uncomfortable to make women feel more safe around men. Although this tragedy has opened eyes to many, no one should have to lose their life in order for change to be activated.