This last week has been incredibly difficult for women across the country.
Along with our outpourings of support for Sarah Everard’s family and friends, as women, we have been sharing our own near-misses and the pattern of sexual harassment that occur in our everyday lives.
Women should be safe and feel safe to walk the streets without fear. Instead, this tragic loss, so close to home, is reminding many of the dangers women face all too regularly.
As a society, we must do better.
The vigil on Clapham Common was our chance to come together and grieve the loss of Sarah’s life.
Our chance to mourn the lives of the women lost to violence. And it was a chance to mourn our own lived experience.
After what was such a traumatic week, for women to be silenced in their grief, pain, and solidarity was profoundly wrong.
I was moved to have a moment of reflection this weekend, marked with the lighting of a single candle, and my heart went out to all the women, mothers, and daughters who share this collective pain.
Many people have shared their own accounts publicly, but for many others, there are many stories still untold. The impact that this weight has on us is exhausting and affects our mental health.
It is vital that people take note and use our experiences to make real change for women – including that mental health support is available every step of the way.
Here in South London we stand up for the rights of all women and girls. I am collecting women’s stories on my website, so please do share your own.
I will read every last one before holding an event to examine where we need to go next and what mental health support must be in place to support women each step of the way.
Sarah is all of us. Women’s voices must be heard.
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