The Conversation Around The Murder of Sarah Everard

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Ava

A screenshot of an Instagram post featuring one of the viral photos of Everard’s vigil.

Ava Dezinski, Staff Writer

 On March 3rd, Sarah Everard, 33, disappeared in South London while on her way home from a friend’s house when she was kidnapped. Everard’s remains were found only seven days after she was last seen, and were found in a woodland area, 50 miles from where she was last seen. A London police officer was arrested on suspicion of her murder and is soon to be charged.

   After news of Everard’s murder spread internationally, a statistic was released  from the U.K. that 97% of women between the ages of 18 and 24 have been sexually assulted or harrassed. The statistic sparked another wave of rage and caused even more of a social media outcry. Many women have taken to the social media platform TikTok, to spread awareness. Posts have consisted of shared experiences, asking people to share if they fall into the statistic, and even targeting posts towards men and boys. The influx of posts surrounding the conversation has caused for the hashtag or argument, ‘not all men’. 

   The ‘not all men’ argument is a rebuttal against women generalizing when they talk about sexual assault or harassment expereiences. The argument has been harmful to past conversations of male violence towards women, sexual assault and, sexual harrassment. On social media sites like Twitter and Instagram, the hashtag has been flooded with posts about Everard and the statistic.

       A vigil was held for Everard in Clapham Common, and sadly enough it is not spared from violence. The vigil was originally cancelled because it was said to violate social-distancing laws, but people showed up anyway. During the day Kate Middleton was seen paying her respects for Everard, but the peace was short lived. Before the violence pictures of the vigil circled around Instagram. The picture was of the hundreds of bouquets of flowers laid at the sight with signs in between. 

   The most circulated photo of the flowers has the message taped to the bouquet reading “Dear Sarah, it wasn’t your fault!!” Four women were arrested at the vigil and a photo of one of them being forcefully and aggressively detained has been widely spread around the internet. The London police have been under intense scrutiny for their treatment of women during the vigil. The police were said to be there to disband the vigil on account of COVID-19 protocols, but the violence that the attendees were met with doesn’t match. Following the aggressive shutdown of the vigil, protests broke out all over the country.

   Protests have been held throughout the United Kingdom and even more photos of them have been released. They held signs with messages to reclaim the streets and ending violence against women. Crowds even gathered in Parliament Square to protest violence against women. 

 

The murder of Sarah Everard sparked up a large conversation on sexual assult and harassment, and the conversation looks as though it is not dying down.