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Sarah Everard: A 'Walk Her Home' march is taking place at Clapham Common

The Lambeth "Walk Her Home" march on Friday night will commemorate the lives of women killed or harmed by men.

Image of flowers and placards at a vigil for Sarah Everard.

The march will honour women killed and harmed by men. Image: Ben Terrett/Flickr

A symbolic march to commemorate the lives of women killed or harmed by men will start at Clapham Common, near where Sarah Everard was kidnapped while walking home.

Friday’s march comes as the first anniversary of Everard’s murder is marked, with her parents saying this week they had been “overwhelmed” by public support. 

Women are being invited to gather at Clapham Common for the “Walk Her Home Lambeth” event, which organiser Freya Papworth said will “allow the community a chance to come together and heal” following Everard’s murder and other attacks and killings of women.

“We [the organisers] are a group of women from Lambeth who were incredibly affected by what happened to Sarah and at the vigil afterwards. We wanted to do something to commemorate not just Sarah but all the women who have suffered since,” Papworth said.

The march will begin on Clapham Common at 7pm and end in Brixton, with women coming together from “all backgrounds and political parties”.

Though the event is titled “Walk Her Home”, Papworth is keen to stress that for many women, “home might not be a safe place”. She added that although Everard was walking home when she was kidnapped, “it wouldn’t have mattered what she was doing – it should never have happened”. 

Everard lived in Lambeth, and following her murder in March 2021, a vigil was held on Clapham Common. Police were criticised over their heavy-handed policing of the event, with officers pinning women to the floor under the justification that the vigil broke coronavirus regulations at the time. 

The anniversary of Everard’s death and subsequent attacks and murders of women since have re-ignited calls for more action on violence against women

The government promised to tackle the issue, with home secretary Priti Patel announcing that violence against women and girls would be treated as seriously as terrorism by police forces.

Education secretary Gavin Williams, meanwhile, pledged that teachers would be supported in delivering an updated relationships and sex education curriculum that included teaching on consent.

A year on, however, many campaigners and women say little has changed to make women feel safer.

“Nothing has changed”, Papworth said. “Politicians say what they’re supposed to say then do absolutely nothing”. 

Last year a proposed app for keeping women safe was blasted for putting the onus of safety on women, while MPs this week voted down legislation to make misogyny a hate crime

While celebrating an updated curriculum, educators say teachers have been given little support in delivering comprehensive relationships and sex education, while half of 16- to 18-year-olds received none at all during lockdown. 

And the Met Police has been mired in scandal ever since Everard’s murder, with a recent report from the Independent Office of Police Conduct finding a huge volume of sexist, racist and homophobic communication between a group of officers on the force.

The IOPC warned the volume of incidents indicated that “these incidents are not isolated or simply the behaviour of a few ‘bad apples’”. 

Following the report, and a declaration of no confidence from London mayor Sadiq Khan, Metropolitan Police head Cressida Dick stepped down from her role. 

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