The Story of Sarah Everard: Enough is Enough

I found myself on Monday morning at a loss for words. I woke up, wrote in my journal, grabbed a cup of coffee, and -- like I do every morning -- I began to read the news. As I scrolled, I saw it and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Remains of Sarah Everard had been located and an officer, Wayne Couzens, on the London Metropolitan Police force, had been charged for her kidnapping and murder. It was a sickening thing to wake up to, I will tell you that much. The initial shock sent waves of emotions through my body, but once I continued reading, the anger I felt turned into pure sadness. The absolute worst thing about this story is that Sarah did EVERYTHING right and she still wasn’t safe. This story reminds women everywhere that nothing has changed, and we simply cannot walk alone anymore. If you're not already familiar with the story, let's dive into the night of Sarah's disappearance to paint a clearer picture of what happened. 

Sarah Everard, a beautiful 33-year-old marketing executive, left her friend's apartment in Clapham, a neighborhood in London, on March 3rd around 9 pm. Sarah was making her way to her apartment, located in Brixton, which would’ve taken her about 50 minutes to get from point A to point B. What happened in those 50 minutes? Literally, the unthinkable. Walking home while talking to her boyfriend on the phone, calling other friends, wearing bright clothing, and making sure to stay in lit areas of the streets, Sarah quite literally did everything a girl is supposed to do when walking alone. Unfortunately, Sarah came into contact with a cop, someone who represents security and safety, and he snatched her life from her far too early. 

The death of Sarah Everard has sparked a social media frenzy in the UK, with women sharing their stories of uncertainty and fear when walking alone. Women are basically begging for more protection on the streets and on public transport by using their social media platforms to speak on these issues. A lot of women have rallied together to spread awareness on what to do when walking alone at night, such as purchasing pepper spray, keeping your keys between your knuckles, and using phones as an alarm. There are even apps available in the UK like Safe And The City that operate as a reporting system for street harassment. Women can pin certain locations where they have experienced harassment on the app, which then sends out a notification to the other users telling them to avoid that part of town.  

It’s wonderful to see women banding together to try and fix this issue, but I think it’s time for men to take some accountability for their actions. It seems ridiculous that women have to resort to literally purchasing heavy-duty weapons to keep in their purses and downloading apps to avoid the city as a solution to a problem that is perpetuated by men. No more “Not all men” or just completely ignoring the problem. We have to do better. We need to do better, for Sarah.