THE murder of Sarah Everard is truly horrific, with the testimony from her mother one of the hardest things anyone will have to hear.
The case raises at least two strands that have to be addressed swiftly. Male violence against women continues so that even women, like Sarah, who follow all the guidelines about dressing sensibly and only walking in well lit areas, cannot be safe. 
It is so sad that there should even be guidelines when women, just like men, should be free to come and go as they please.
Eighty women have been killed by men since Sarah’s death seven months ago – it is a shocking statistic. The majority – 87 per cent – are victims of domestic violence and, of course, there are many, many more cases that do not end in murder. 
How do we address this? Is respect something that needs to be taught in schools?
Secondly, the police have to learn from Sarah’s case. Murder is rarely a person’s first crime – usually less violent offences come before. Certainly, Wayne Couzens slipped through the net, perhaps because he was a police officer which raises all sorts of questions about how police view themselves – 160 Met officers were accused of sexual misconduct in 2019-2020, and yet just four were removed from their posts.
Which leads to the point Keir Starmer was making in his conference speech: 98 per cent of reported rape cases do not lead to a criminal charge.
So the judicial system is letting women down, as are society’s attitudes. We hope that the spotlight that Sarah’s case is throwing on both will cause profound change.