Portsmouth women encouraged to show solidarity with one another after death of Sarah Everard

WOMEN have reacted with anguish and anger over the death of a woman who was ‘simply walking home’.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 4:00 pm
Updated Saturday, 13th March 2021, 11:18 am

Police have confirmed that a body found in the search for missing Sarah Everard, 33 from Brixton, was indeed hers.

Ms Everard disappeared as she was walking home in south London last week – and a serving Met officer is in custody on suspicion of her kidnap and murder.

Now, women across the country are looking to ‘reclaim the streets’ on Saturday, saying that they should not have to fear walking home in the dark, and calling for men to not only be better educated on right and wrong, but to challenge their friends when they see something wrong.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

An undated handout picture of Sarah Everard, released by the Metropolitan Police on March 10, 2021. Picture: Metropolitan Police/AFP via Getty Images

Read More

Read More
Portsmouth army veteran pleads guilty to attacking Queen Alexandra Hospital work...

In Portsmouth two events are taking place for women to share their experiences and show solidarity with one another.

Cllr Claire Udy, who represents the Charles Dickens ward for Portsmouth City Council, is urging women to simply go out on their daily walks tomorrow and acknowledge one another.

She said: ‘The whole situation has made me feel so angry and I wanted to try and do something positive, while also keeping in the Covid-19 guidelines.

Shonagh Dillon, the founder and CEO of Aurora New Dawn, which supports survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence and stalking

‘We're allowed on our daily walks so it would be great if women could go out, either alone or with someone else, and acknowledge others that they see, to let them know they aren’t alone and to reflect on everything that’s happened.

‘From there it’s about educating women on how to stay safe, and challenge men on what they are doing as well.’

Cllr Udy added that the posts she has seen on social media, where women have shared their experiences with harassment and sexual assault, show that women in Portsmouth ‘do not feel safe’.

Tomorrow evening, domestic abuse and sexual violence charity Aurora New Dawn is hosting a virtual event for women to show solidarity and commemorate Ms Everard’s life.

Shonagh Dillon, CEO of the Portsmouth-based charity, said the incident has hit home for many women.

She said: ‘One of the things that has struck me is how many women have been sharing their stories on sexual harassment and male violence.

‘We have to hold one another to account – men have to challenge their friends rather than being a bystander.

‘It’s not enough to just think that it's not you, because it could be somebody you know.’

The charity is urging people to light a candle and post it on social media, with the hashtags #SarahEverard, #ReclaimTheStreets and #VirtualVigil.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

You can subscribe here for unlimited access to Portsmouth news online - as well as fewer adverts, access to our digital edition and mobile app.

Our trial offer starts at just £2 a month for the first two months.