POLITICS
12/03/2021 18:00 GMT

Sarah Everard Killing: Priti Patel Asks Women To Share Experiences Of Harassment And Abuse

“The government is listening,” the home secretary has said as she reopens a call for evidence of everyday violence.

Women and girls have been asked to share with the government their experiences of harassment, abuse and violence in the wake of the killing of Sarah Everard.

Home secretary Priti Patel reopened a nationwide survey on tackling violence against women and girls for two weeks “in recognition of the widespread sharing of experiences on social media in response to the tragic developments”.

The call for evidence originally closed in February, but the survey was reopened at 6pm on Friday.

The findings will help inform the government’s forthcoming Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy, which will be published in the summer.

Patel said: “While an awful incident like this is incredibly rare, it is worrying because it reminds women everywhere of the steps we all take on a daily basis, without a second thought, to keep ourselves safe.

“So many of you have bravely shared your own experiences of harassment, abuse and violence online over recent days, so today I am re-opening our nationwide call for views on tackling violence against women and girls. The government is listening.

“Everyone should be free to walk our streets without the slightest fear. With Sarah and her family in my thoughts and prayers, I will continue to do all I can in my role as home secretary to protect women and girls.”

Earlier on Friday, human remains found in an area of Kent woodland were identified as belonging to Sarah Everard.

The 33-year-old vanished while walking home from a friend’s flat in south London on March 3.

The marketing executive is thought to have walked through Clapham Common towards her house in Brixton – a journey that should have taken around 50 minutes.

She was last seen on a doorbell camera walking along the A205 Poynders Road towards Tulse Hill at about 9.30pm on March 3.

A serving police officer had earlier been arrested on suspicion of Everard’s kidnap and murder.

The officer was also arrested over a separate allegation of indecent exposure, the Met said.

A woman in her 30s has been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Boris Johnson has said he could “totally understand” why Sarah Everard’s death had triggered a “wave of feeling” on the issue of women’s safety.

The prime minister told reporters at Queen’s University Belfast: “Like everybody, I’m shocked and appalled about the news from the Met about Sarah Everard.

“I think that the whole country will be united in their feeling for her friends, her family and will share their shock and their grief.

“I can see, and I totally understand, why this has triggered such a wave of feeling on this issue – on the issue of safety of women and safety of the streets.

“And I want to echo very much what Priti Patel said, which is that no woman should walk our streets in fear – every woman should feel able to walk our streets in safety.

“As for the proposed vigil, as you know there is a case I think before the courts right now.”