Front page news in Britain today is, a woman named Sarah Everard walked home alone last week and was abducted. And, as I figured was depressingly inevitable from the moment I saw the headline, murdered. They found what they’re pretty sure is her body just yesterday and the person arrested for the murder is a cop.
It stings. Not just because the woman in question shares my first name, though that doesn’t help, but also because there’s just so many of these stories. And even then those are just the ones the media reports on. There must be countless, endless names we don’t know.
I remember there was a not completely dissimilar story in Leicester not all that long ago. It happened in a park near where lots of my friends lived back then. A teenager raped a woman and attempted to beat her to death with a paving slab. It made the national news, you can read it for yourself if you have the stomach. The victim lived, thank god, but will have scars forever. The whole thing was horrific.
And women just… don’t go alone to that park anymore. I don’t, I loop around it via the road way, even knowing how unlikely it is that the same thing will happen again. You don’t want to be hurt in any way but you also don’t want people telling you “What did you expect, going to that park alone?” I’ve noted all the fury about the response to Everard’s death being framed that way, women being told not to go out at night when it’s not women who are the problem. Some pent-up rage has been unleashed and I hope it will last.
But no matter what I just feel so sorry for Sarah Everard, and the unnamed victim in my hometown, and all the other women before and after.