09 Jul Sarah Everard: Location sharing, rape alarms and no walking in the dark among new precautions women take | UK News
Location sharing, rape alarms and no walking in the dark alone, women continue to take severe precautions months on from Sarah Everard’s abduction and murder.
Scores of young women adopted new habits in the wake of Sarah‘s death in March and many are still living in a heightened state of awareness that the world around them sometimes is not safe. Even in Britain.
Housemates Abby, Laura and Claudia are among them.
Amid the horrific event – they all sat in their living room and discussed their safety.
“It was a really scary time,” Laura tells me.
“We all had to sit and have a conversation about how you stay safe. We’re just more deliberate about when we’re going out by ourselves to tell each other where we’re going.”
Claudia has lived in the area for a number of years and says she is unlikely to abandon the extra precautions she and the girls take, anytime soon.
“We’ve definitely all changed our behaviour and are all extra vigilant. We always text when each other when we get home, one of my friends brought us all rape alarms.
“When it’s dark at night I now get Ubers for short distances that I probably wouldn’t have before so it’s had a huge impact on everyone.”
Their housemate Abby describes the mood in the following days as sombre and heartbreaking.
She too shares her location with friends when out in the evenings, just in case.
“It’s horrible and super scary because we would just walk around at night and not even give it a second thought.
“It completely changed our habits. We’re always texting each other and sending our locations to each other and if someone was even just going to meet a friend at night, we wouldn’t let them walk by themselves.
“It’s stuff that we shouldn’t have to do and that we’re told we don’t really need to do but because of all that we’ve had to start doing all that kind of stuff again.”
Countless people came to lay flowers and messages at a bandstand in Clapham, South London when news of her death spread to the community including the three women.
“Whenever you walked past it you felt the outpouring of grief,” says Claudia.
“I just came to lay some flowers with my friends and we just stood there and cried, it was just awful.”
Since Sarah’s abduction, 53 women have been killed where a man is a principal suspect according to data collated by the Chief Executive of NIA, the violence against women and children charity.
At least 84 women are suspected to have been killed by men since the start of the year, says Karen Ingala Smith.
Some might view the measures taken by increasing young women as excessive, but what happened to Sarah has left a lasting impact.
Even months on, reassurance is needed when out alone.