Murder of young teacher Sabina Nessa makes London women fear it is them
“Police said she left home to meet her friend at a local pub and it was only a five minute walk for her. We go to this pub a lot and it is also about five minutes away. , 10 minutes walk for us. You think it could It could happen anywhere, “Aliya Isaeva, a young mother who has lived in the area for about two years, told CNN.
Isaeva and her husband moved to Kidbrooke because it was a good place to raise a family; a quiet suburb of London, less than 20 minutes by train from central London. As a prime suburban neighborhood, Kidbrooke has benefited from huge investments in recent years. Newly constructed apartment buildings with carefully landscaped lawns surround the station. On the other side of the tracks, many more are under construction.
Isaeva and her friend and colleague Sueda Ciftci said they were visiting the park where the 28-year-old teacher was killed last Friday at least once a week. They always felt safe there. “We chose this neighborhood because there are a lot of parks. It’s a good family neighborhood,” Ciftci said.
Many struggled to hold back tears when Nessa’s sister, Jebina Yasmin Islam, told them about the pain she and her family went through. “It makes it look like we’re stuck in a bad dream and can’t get out of it,” she said. “We lost our sister, my parents lost their daughter, and my daughters lost such a brilliant, loving and caring aunt.”
Epidemic of gender violence
“It’s just a never-ending cycle of violence against women and it’s really depressing,” Jamie Klingler, one of the co-founders of the Reclaim These Streets campaign group, told CNN.
Klingler said Nessa’s murder showed nothing had changed in the six months since Everard’s murder in May. “Violence against women is not [in] the top three priorities for any police service in England or Wales. We don’t even rank. Nobody takes this seriously, ”she said.
According to the security app WalkSafe, 112 violent and sexual crimes were reported within a 1.5 kilometer (0.9 mile) radius of the park where Nessa was killed, just in July, the most recent month for which the Police figures are available.
“Right now the [local] the council is giving panic alarms and they are handing out pieces of paper saying you have to walk with someone… said Klingler.
During the vigil on Friday, Clive Efford, the local MP, said 78 women had died in violent attacks since Everard’s murder in May.
Efford said a cultural change needs to take place in the UK. “Those sexist jokes that slip on the tongue around the coffee machine, that’s where it starts, it’s the little steps that create the environment where people feel they can become violent and aggressive towards women and girls, so if we want to bring about change, we have to live that change and be that change, ”he said to the applause of the crowd.
The UK government unveiled a new plan to tackle violence against women and girls in July. But activists have said it does not go far enough. Refuge, a charity that helps women victims of domestic violence, said the plan did not provide adequate funding and missed an opportunity to effect real change.
Manuela Colombini, who has lived in the area for around 15 years, said she considers it her duty to attend the vigil to express her solidarity with Nessa’s family and make her voice heard. “We want to feel safe. I have two young daughters and I don’t want them to grow up and think they can’t go out on the streets or in a park near here where we take our dogs,” she declared. “It is important to be able to show that we are there and it is not acceptable,” she said.
Most of those who gathered in Kidbrooke on Friday did not know Nessa personally. Like Colombini, they came because they wanted to support the community, take a stand and ensure that its history is not forgotten. When one of the speakers encouraged the crowd to say Nessa’s name, they did so, the sound of hundreds of voices echoing through the plaza: “Sabina Nessa. Sabina Nessa. Sabina Nessa.
This story has been updated to correct the month Sarah Everard went missing. It was in March.
CNN’s Nada Bashir, Mick Krever, Eliza Mackintosh and Kara Fox contributed to this article.