March 12, 2021

“She was Just Walking Home.”

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Update on the story, here.

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I’m told that there are hundreds of missing person posters around South London.

There are hundreds of missing person posters around South London.

A smiling face.

A young woman just like any one of us.

Walking home at 9:30 p.m., not even that late—not that it matters.

She talked with her boyfriend on the phone.

And then, nothing.

Sarah Everard, 33, disappeared walking home from a friend’s house last week from Clapham to Brixton, in London, United Kingdom. Last night, remains were found, and a police officer in custody potentially related to her disappearance.

Her family described Sarah as “kind and beautiful.” There will be a vigil for her this weekend.

As a young woman whose sister lives in this area of London, a young woman who walks home alone, a young woman just like Sarah, I cannot help but think how this could have been any of us.

Tragedy does this. It causes us to reflect on our own fragile existence. To reflect on the cruelty and inequity and danger women have to face every single day, and night.

I’ve been seeing posts around the internet the last few days and I want to share one that speaks to what every woman has been thinking:

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

We should be able to walk home alone without fear of being taken.

Every woman I know has said, “Text me when you get home.”

Every woman I know has held her keys between her fingers.

Every woman I know has shared her location with her friends.

Every woman I know has been on the phone with someone while walking, plugged a headphone in only to not listen to any music, crossed the other side of the street, picked up their pace because there’s a stranger walking near them.

Every woman I know has felt the fear—that question of: what if. 

Sadly, this is the reality of the world we live in. But we’re tired. We’re tired of changing our behaviours to feel more safe.

We are not the ones who need to change.

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Relephant: Women who Travel Alone, This is for You.

 

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