I'm posting this late, after the events, but I wanted to reflect on what happened in a terrible week in March 2021.
On Wednesday the 3rd of March, Sarah Everard disappeared while walking home from a friend's house near Clapham Common to her home in Brixton Hill. Monday the 8th of March was International Womens' Day. On the 9th of March Wayne Cousins, a Metropolitan Police Officer was arrested on suspicion of Sarah's murder, and on the following day, Sarah's body was found in woodland near Ashford, Kent. The following Saturday 13 March a peaceful vigil was held on Clapham Common in memory of Sarah at which the Metropolitan Police moved in and aggressively handcuffed, and arrested four women for breach of the Covid19 regulations. The following day was Mothering Sunday.
News of Sarah's disappearance and the discovery of her body sparked anger, grief, and anxiety across the UK, and thousands of women attested to the fears and experience of abuse at the hands of men. That was followed by further anger at the heavy-handed policing of a peaceful vigil.
So, here we are in 2021, in the twenty-first century, and that terrible week serves as a reminder of the fears of women and girls and the sexual harassment and abuse they are being subjected to every day. I've been hearing about this all my life, I can remember the Yorkshire Ripper and the fear that women in the North of England lived in at the time. Why is it that so little has changed since then?
What kind of a society are we that allows this to continue? Certainly a dysfunctional one. We need to educate our sons for sure but I think it goes deeper than that, we need to put people, nature, and the planet first instead of living in a world that is dominated by consumption, prejudice, and profit. We need to build a society that genuinely cares for others - including the natural world. If we don't, not only will women and girls continue to be harassed, raped, and murdered but our very survival as a species is in doubt.