Alleged murder sparks UK debate over women’s safety – POLITICO

The disappearance of a woman, now being treated as a suspected murder, has sparked a debate over the safety of women in public spaces in the UK

Prominent politicians, journalists and other public figures have joined countless women on social media to share their experiences of feeling unsafe on the streets of Britain following the arrest of police officer Wayne Couzens on suspicion of murder Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old Londoner who last disappeared. the week.

“Walking late at night recently, I remember thinking I better look over my left shoulder as much as I look over my right so as not to strain my neck,” the Tory MP said. Claire Coutinho tweeted. “And always with the keys out.”

Sky Political Correspondent Kate McCann noted that the Everard case “hit a lot” for women, as many are used to doing math like “taking the longest, best-lit route” and “swapping shoes for sneakers just in case. we would need to run”.

Harriet Harman, Labor chairwoman of the Human Rights Select Committee, told Times Radio on Thursday: ‘It’s a problem of men’s behavior, more than women’s behaviour.

The topic is expected to feature prominently during Thursday afternoon’s debates in the House of Commons and House of Lords on the theme of International Women’s Day.

A new YouGov survey of 1,000 women to UN Women UK highlighted how widespread street harassment is. Some 97% of women aged 18 to 24 had experienced sexual harassment, according to the survey, and 80% said the harassment happened in a public space. About 45% say they don’t think the issue would be properly dealt with by the authorities.

Claire Barnett, Executive Director of UN Women UK, said: “This is a human rights crisis. It’s not enough for us to keep saying ‘this is too much of a problem for us to solve’ – it needs to be solved now”.

On Thursday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson noted he was “shocked and deeply saddened” by the development of the Everard case, adding: “We must work quickly to find all the answers to this horrible crime.”

Mara R. Wilmoth