Sabina Nessa’s family call for ‘proactive steps’ on women’s safety

·3-min read

The family of murdered schoolteacher Sabina Nessa have called on the Government to make communities safer for women, on the day of her funeral.

Ms Nessa, 28, was attacked as she walked through Cator Park in Kidbrooke, south-east London, on her way to meet a friend on September 17.

Her body was discovered nearly 24 hours later covered with leaves near a community centre in the park.

On Friday, funeral prayers were said for her at East London Mosque in Whitechapel, east London, before her coffin was taken to a nearby graveyard for burial.

In a statement, her family said: “Today is a sad day for us all. Our loss is immeasurable with the realisation that we will not see our beloved Sabina again.

“Thoughts of her love, warmth and gentle nature remain with us, and that’s how we will remember Sabina.

“While we know that our hearts will be left with a vast void, we were uplifted to receive support from all over the country. We will continue to fight for justice for Sabina.

“Our communities need to be made safer for women, so nothing like this can ever happen again.

“We need everyone, including the Government, to work together with us on this problem. Actions speak louder than words, and we need to see proactive steps being taken for women’s safety.”

In their statement, the family thanked everyone for their support and kindness, adding: “As we say goodbye to a dearest friend, sister and daughter, we want to honour her memory by reminding everyone that we are each other’s keepers; we are the change that we want to see in our community, in our world.

Sabina Nessa death
People at a vigil for Sabina Nessa at Eastbourne Pier in East Sussex (Michael Drummond/PA)

“Our lives have changed and will never be the same. The pain we carry each and every single day will continue to remind us of the loss and also of the change that is desperately needed.

“No family should ever have to go through this. We need our leaders to step up, and we need our communities to step up. We need our country to step up and stand with us and say no more violence against women.

“We also hope that everyone remembers Sabina as the joyful, happy, dedicated person that loved teaching and contributing to the community that she loved dearly.”

Garage worker Koci Selamaj, 36, from Eastbourne, who is charged with Ms Nessa’s murder, will appear in court on December 16 for a plea hearing.

A Home Office spokesman said: “Our sincere condolences go to the family of Sabina Nessa for their devastating loss.

“Our priority is tackling violence against women and girls, which is why we recently published our new cross-government Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Strategy to help ensure that women and girls are safe everywhere – at home, online and on the streets.

“The Home Office is also funding a new national policing lead for VAWG in recognition of the seriousness of these crimes, and the Home Secretary will also chair a cross-government taskforce to drive action and improvements in this area.”

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