Comment: Sarah’s death has also given men an understanding of how terrifying the streets can be for women

All the street lights can be lit at night, women can go out dressed in clothes that cover every inch of their body, they can be on their phone as they walk down the crowded street with their keys poised between their fingers but rape and murder will still continue on our streets, writes Sam Billingham.

As long as rapists and murderers are walking our streets, then rape and murder will happen.

Society seems to be messy, with no clear structure at the moment.

The tragic death of Sarah Everard has sparked anger and upset, with women feeling increasingly concerned with their own personal safety. Sarah’s death has also given men an understanding of how terrifying the streets can be for women.

Sarah Everard

On March 11 the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, released a statement saying that every woman should feel safe to walk on our streets without fear of harassment or violence and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan stated that London streets are not safe for women and children.

So what next?

Patel announced that new laws are being considered to protect women against sexual harassment, including the potential of making public harassment a specifically defined crime.


Every day we have the opportunity to examine our behaviours and beliefs, the first belief we must all adapt to is, an attitude that suggests a victim rather than a perpetrator bears the responsibility.

Men are predominately the perpetrator – and we know that it’s not all men, but the movement we really need to see is all men being positive bystanders and not just standing by watching it happen; call out abusers, report any abuse you see and prevent situation from escalating.

Men disappear from the discussion, we talk about women’s safety concerns and we talk about violence against women but we don’t talk about that gap in the argument, what to do to stop men from raping, abusing and murdering women.

We have hash tags from men saying not all men, they are stating a fact that we all know but what are they actually doing to be a part of the movement that is needed?

In conclusion, if the laws we already have in place actually worked we wouldn’t keep having new laws introduced. We need to see a strong punishment and deterrent in preventing rapists, murderers and perpetrators from committing these horrific crimes because at the moment the onus is completely on the shoulders of victims, giving a green card to these criminals.

Switching on street lights will not stop women from being raped or murdered. This is something we must get right now before we see more women murdered on our streets.

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