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Sarah Everard was walking home.

It’s something we all do. The key goes in the door and we often take for granted the warmth and comfort that greets us after a long day. Or, more recently perhaps, a long walk.

Sarah Everard was walking home. She didn’t make it back.

And that could’ve been me or you.

What is even more terrifying about this story is that a policeman has been arrested and questioned on suspicion of murder and kidnap.

A policeman, whose job it is to keep the public safe.

All too many times, the narrative appears to be: ‘Why was she walking home late by herself?’ ‘What was she thinking?’

All too many times, the narrative often forgets that at the heart of these awful stories, there are awful human-beings who have threatened the safety and rights of young women.

Women should feel safe to walk home alone, regardless of the time of day. The sad truth, we often don’t.

“Message me when you get home.”

“Don’t have your music loud.”

“Have your wits about you.”

Sarah Everard was walking home. She phoned her boyfriend, something many of us would do if were walking alone. She did something as ordinary as visit a friend’s house but what happened next was more than just ‘wrong place wrong time.’

That could’ve been me or you.

I’m not saying it’s just women who are victims of attacks when walking alone. I’ve heard many-a-horror story about school children being approached by gangs in daylight hours, men getting mugged, let alone awful attacks on the elderly.

What I’m saying is let’s change the narrative. Instead of ‘why was she walking home so late by herself?’ what about just focusing on the matter at issue – a policeman, a POLICEMAN, is being questioned on her kidnap and murder.

Who cares if it was 9 pm, or 3 am or midday? That poor girl’s family is going to have to live with the fact that Sarah Everard went for a walk – and she didn’t come home.

I don’t know about anyone else, but those ‘message me when you get home safe’ texts will be even more important now.

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May 2024