Due to the disappearance and subsequent murder of 33-year-old Marketing Executive, Sarah Everard, the issue of the danger women everywhere face, feeling increasingly unsafe has finally been brought to much needed attention.

A while ago I saw a quote that really stuck with me. ‘Men are scared women will laugh at them, women are scared men will kill them.’ As a young woman, this quote saddened me deeply due to the truth I felt regarding it. For a long time, we as women have just learned to accept the injustices we face due to our gender. Don’t walk alone at night, don’t walk down alleyways, don’t wear dark clothing, don’t make eye contact with men, don’t use both earphones, and don’t wear ‘provocative’ clothing. The reality of these set out ‘rules’ to increase (but not even ensure) our safety is saddening and aggravating, with women even being told to dress ‘like men’ when alone at night to avoid danger.

The most aggravating fact though is that Sarah Everard did follow these ‘rules’. When walking home, she wore bright clothes, according to reports she called her boyfriend, she stuck mainly to main roads and it was only 9pm. If even adhering to these guidelines can’t improve our safety, it’s no surprise that women feel exacerbated and disappointed in the disregard for their safety as a major societal issue.

 Such a revelation has proved once again that it is not ‘on women’ to protect themselves. It is the responsibility of our society and government to make sure women all over, feel protected, cared for and safe.

Police constable Wayne Couzens, 48, has been charged with kidnapping and murdering Sarah Everard. Although meant to relieve the public, the revelation that a Police constable is allegedly responsible doesn’t increase the feeling of safety among women. That someone who’s role is to protect society and care for the safety of individuals could be responsible can’t help but leave women feeling even more fearful.

Upon a petition for the council to take more action regarding the safety of women at night, signed by 15,000 people, work to install extra lighting at Clapham Common where Sarah was last seen has begun.

There is still an incredibly long way to go, however, for the issue of women’s safety to be fully addressed and improved which will require further government action and wider acknowledgment of such a sadly accepted matter.