SafeLives responds to the murder of Sarah Everard

This week at SafeLives we are heartsick.

There aren’t enough or the right words to describe how the disappearance of Sarah Everard weighs, and how many personal recollections it’s triggering for women and girls. Sometimes we have to allow that feeling to happen, and stand in solidarity with each other while it does, before we take several breaths and can go back to all the many things we’re doing to change the way the world currently works or doesn’t work.

Through this week, the sinking feeling has got worse as we all heard a police officer had been arrested, charged, and the remains of a body found.

This is a moment for men. It’s a moment for men to ask why this keeps happening, and why the common denominator, over and over, is a man who felt entitled to take something that didn’t belong to him. A girl or woman’s safety. Her wellbeing. Her confidence. And to ask – if this is happening so often, what am I, as a man, going to do to change it?

That’s the individual responsibility, and all men should take it. We also need the Government to create a cross-Whitehall strategy on men and boys at risk of harming themselves and other people. We’re beyond ‘enough is enough’. We need to change our approach and act differently. Otherwise girls and women will keep going to bed heartsick, wondering where they can be safe.

We extend our love and support to Sarah’s family and many friends.