By Michael Ge
On March 3rd, Sarah Everard disappeared while she was walking home from a friend’s house in South London. Her body was found on March 10th in Kent, more than 50 miles away from where she was last seen. Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens was arrested and charged with kidnapping and murdering Sarah Everard. The murder of Sarah Everard has led to public outcries across the United Kingdom and the world against sexual harassment and violence.
Home Secretary Priti Patel warned people not to attend in-person vigils due to COVID-19 restrictions. Several vigils were canceled due to Patel’s statement. Despite Patel’s warning, there were still in-person vigils held in several cities. Others chose to hold vigils online. In response to the in-person vigils, police forces cracked down on those who were attending the vigils. Several attendees were arrested and charged with breaking COVID-19 restrictions at a vigil in Clapham Common. The police response to the Clapham Common vigil was widely criticized due to their forceful behavior in breaking up the vigil.
The murder of Sarah Everard has led to renewed discussion about sexual harassment. The slogan “reclaim these streets” lead to women discussing how it was like to walk alone, especially at night, and demanding safety from sexual harassment and violence. Common themes of these discussions included women talking about they would text a loved one once they got home. The murder of Sarah Everard has reignited discussion against sexual harassment and violence and shows that much still needs to be done in order to end sexual harassment and violence.