Do you remember Sarah Everard? Let's do some memory exercises! We all need it.
British police officer Wayne Couzens killed a woman. Last year, ironically, her body was found on International Women's Day. Her name was Sarah Everard and she was 33 years old. He was walking home alone from Clapham Common to Brixton when the police officer stopped him. He arrested her for violating the COVID rules and put Sarah in the car. The date was March 3, 2021. On March 10, Sarah's body was found burned in Kent.
Sarah's murder resonated deeply with the community because she was killed by a police officer whose job it was to protect. Everyone was shocked. Many reacted to this gruesome murder by holding vigils and laying thousands of flowers in the marching band on Clapham Common. There were speeches on violence against women and girls. Now, it's been a year. On the first anniversary of his death, speeches were made and flowers were laid for the memorial service. But that's all. We forget very easily.
A week before Sarah's body was found, she was just missing. No one had any idea what had happened to him, she. Unfortunately, his story is not special. Today, the streets of London are still filled with posters of missing women and girls. It asks questions: Has anything changed? What does it take for women to be safe in this world?
In the 28 weeks following Sarah's death, 81 women have been murdered in England. According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 177 women were killed in England and Wales between April 2020 and March 2021. Of these women, 32% were killed by their partner or ex-partner, and 17% by foreigners. There are no commemorations or commemorations for these victims, no speeches were made when their lives were taken. Most people don't know they have passed. They're just a name or little pictures in lists.
At the same time, they are not.
They took lives. They studied, read, laughed and loved. Commemoration is necessary as a way to protect other women and girls. That's why we must remember them. We must remember them as a way to protect other women and girls.
It is important to remember not just for the memory of Sarah, but for all women. It matters because otherwise we normalize femicide. If femicide becomes normalized in our collective social consciousness, what does this mean for women's rights? We need to bury the names and lives of women lost in femicide in our collective memory.
The collective memory of society is activated by its moral consciousness. In turn, it can be used as leverage to exert pressure on laws and governments. Activism, protests, and conversations are necessary, but they have limitations in influencing long-term change. On their own, frankly, they are not enough. Social collective memory is much stronger and more vital than public transport advertisements, political speeches, or flowers left in the Clapham Common band garden. Our collective memory can save lives. And every life, every woman's life is important and worth protecting!
Why do we need apps like bibti that focus on women's safety in our modern life? Because our collective memory suffers from amnesia. Bibti and other women will help us until we learn to remember.
by Shirley Hu Jan, 2022