Sabina Nessa’s body was tragically found in Cator Park in Kidbrooke, southeast London on Friday evening. She was just five minutes away from home and on her way to meet a friend
Women do not feel safe walking the streets following the murder of a young and much-loved teacher, a campaigner has said.
Sabina Nessa (28), was just five minutes from her home at Kidbrooke Village, Greenwich. She was on her way to meet a friend at Kidbrooke Village.
Her body was not found near the OneSpace community center in the park the next day.
Sabina’s killer is still unknown.
Reclaim These Streets has organized a vigil in Sabina’s memory. This is an organization that works to increase awareness about women’s safety throughout the country.
The vigil will take place on Friday evening at Pegler Square in Kidbrooke at 7pm. This is the third vigil organized by the organization this year. It follows vigils that were held for Sarah Everard (who was killed in Clapham March this year) and sisters Bibaa and Nicole Smallman (who were both murdered in Wembley in February 2020).
Anna Birley, the co-founder of the organization, has called on the Government to reform education and criminal justice to end violence against women and misogyny in the wake of her death.
She said that “I believe women don’t feel secure in public.”
“We often get told when the worst happens that murder of a woman by a stranger in a public place is very rare and we are very safe. But the thing is our lived experiences of street harassment, cat-calling, a man exposing himself to us tell us we’re not safe, and murder is rarely the first crime someone commits.
“Misogynistic and gender-based violence is likely to have come about as an escalation and I don’t know a woman who hasn’t experienced something along that spectrum.
“You never know when one of those things is going to put us in danger. We hope that anyone who saw anything will come forward to the police.
“It’s scary for people, especially women in that community knowing that there’s a violent perpetrator still at large. But however well-meaning advice is for women to stay at home for their own safety or to carry rape alarms with them, it doesn’t actually fix the problem of violence against women.
“We shouldn’t be looking to solutions that require women to change their behavior. Women should be free to walk five miles in a park, day or night, without fear.”
Ms. Birley said the Government urgently needs to fix the “deep-rooted culture of misogyny in British vulture” by reforming the criminal justice system to achieve a higher conviction rate against rapists, introduce anti-misogyny training for police, and bring in lessons in schools aimed at “tackling toxic masculinity” from a young age.
She added that hundreds of women are likely to turn up for the vigil on Friday.
She said: “I hope for Sabina’s sake that people come. Her name deserves to be heard and she deserves to be remembered not just as a victim but as an amazing teacher and member of the community and as a sister and a friend.
She deserves the same outcry and outpouring that other women get.”
Earlier on Thursday, the Metropolitan Police continued to appeal for help from members of the public for information surrounding Sabina’s death.
Detective Chief Superintendent Trevor Lawry said it is “always a concern” that her murderer could attack again.
He said: “It’s always a concern that it may happen, but that’s not something that we have any intelligence on at this time.”
He added that police are “definitely” looking at the possibility that Sabina was attacked by a stranger and that detectives are “keeping an open mind” on what the attacker’s motive could have been.
Detective Chief Superintendent Lawry said: “There are significant lines of inquiry at the moment and they’re ones that I can’t divulge.”
When questioned about women’s safety, he said London’s “streets are safe for women.”
He added: “I’d like to reassure the public around that, I’d like to make sure that people are free to walk around free from fear and my officers will make sure that can take place.”
The Detective said that since Sarah Everard’s death, things have been changing within the force in the way it deals with violent crime against women.
He said: “I think the main things that are changing are that one, we’re listening to people, we’re understanding where people are feeling not so safe, and we’re putting out patrols to make sure that we do that.
“This isn’t just a policing issue, there are lots of issues to be able to make people feel safe in an open space and we’re working with our partners to ensure we do that.”