Murder of Sarah Everard triggered outpouring of concern over women’s safety

·3-min read

The murder of Sarah Everard was one of a number of violent deaths that galvanised concerns over women’s safety.

In the wake of the killing, vigils were held in cities across the UK both in her memory and as protests highlighting the measures that women are forced to take to try to keep themselves safe.

Her death, at the hands of a police officer as she walked along a busy road in London at 9.30pm, led thousands of girls and women to share their experiences and fears.

A mural by Irish artist Emmalene Blake in Dublin’s city centre that reads:
A mural by Irish artist Emmalene Blake in Dublin’s city centre created in the wake of Miss Everard’s death (Niall Carson/PA)

A Home Office survey on the handling of violence against women and girls was reopened in the wake of Miss Everard’s murder and received more than 160,000 responses.

Campaigner Karen Ingala Smith, who runs a project called Counting Dead Women, says that so far this year in the UK 109 women have died in violent circumstances where the suspect or suspects are male.

These cases include primary school teacher Sabina Nessa, 28, who was killed as she walked to a bar near her flat in Kidbrooke, south-east London, on September 17.

Delivery driver Koci Selamaj, 36, of Terminus Road, Eastbourne, east Sussex, appeared before magistrates earlier this week charged with her murder.

Other investigations include the death of Maria Rawlings, 45, who was beaten and strangled as she walked home from hospital in Romford, east London in May. Valentin Lazar, 20, from Barking, east London has been charged with her murder.

Agnes Akom, who died after going missing from her home in north west London in May
Agnes Akom, who died after going missing from her home in north-west London in May (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Hungarian Agnes Akom, 20, went missing from her home in Cricklewood Broadway, north-west London in May and her body was found more than a month later in Neasden Recreation Park, Brent, north-west London.

Lorry driver Neculai Paizan, 63, of Peel Street, Notting Hill, west London, denies her murder.

Outside the capital, cases include PCSO Julia James, who was killed while walking her dog in the Kent countryside in April. Callum Wheeler, 21, from Aylesham, Kent, is accused of her murder.

In Derbyshire, Gracie Spinks, 23, is thought to have been killed by former colleague Michael Sellers in Duckmanton after he stalked her.

It is believed that he took his own life but inquests have yet to take place.

Sisters Bibaa Henry (left) and Nicole Smallman
Sisters Bibaa Henry (left) and Nicole Smallman, who were murdered last year (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Back in London, a case from last year that sparked horror was the murder of sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman, who were stabbed to death by 19-year-old Danyal Hussein in June.

He believed he had made a pact with a demon that he would win the lottery if he murdered women.

The siblings had remained behind together in Fryent Country Park, Wembley, north-west London after meeting friends to celebrate Miss Henry’s 46th birthday when Hussein stabbed them both repeatedly.

The teenager, of Guy Barnet Grove, Eltham, south east London, was found guilty of their murders earlier this year but has not yet been sentenced.

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