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Council reiterates need to end gender-based violence following Sabina Nessa’s death

24 September 2021

Sabina Nessa was a 28-year-old primary school teacher who was found dead in a park in Kidbrooke, southeast London on Saturday 18 September. Police believe she was attacked shortly after leaving her home at about 8.30pm.

Cllr Ben Khosa, Richmond Council’s White Ribbon Champion, said: 

"We are deeply saddened and appalled at Sabina Nessa’s death and our thoughts go out to her family, the Kidbrooke community and anyone affected. We stand in solidarity with everyone as they commemorate Sabina’s life this evening at a vigil in Kidbrooke. 

"The continual violence faced by women and girls on our streets and in public spaces is unacceptable. Sabina’s death comes six months after the murder of Sarah Everard in Clapham, which led to thousands of women sharing stories of their experiences of harassment and violence when going about their daily lives. 

"It is abundantly clear that more needs to be done at Government level and more widely around the world. Women and girls should feel safe everywhere – whether that be out and about or in their homes. 

"Locally, Richmond Council is adopting new strategies and policies, and is increasing its effort to make public spaces safer. Internally, the Council is becoming a White Ribbon Accredited Organisation this year and has so far recruited twelve male White Ribbon Ambassadors and fifteen female White Ribbon Champions to lead a strategic approach to stopping male violence against women by engaging with men and boys, changing cultures, and raising awareness. 

"My role as the Council’s first White Ribbon Champion was appointed in July this year and has the specific role of driving forward the borough’s work to tackle violence against women and girls. My role has led to a collaboration with St Mary’s University to offer training to teachers on stalking and sexual harassment through a series of workshops delivered in November this year. 

"The Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy will be published later this year with a focus on supporting and protecting victims and survivors, tackling perpetrators and long-term changes to attitudes and culture. 

"There is still so much more to be done and we will continue to do what we can in Richmond upon Thames to drive the change that is needed to allow women and girls to go about their lives without at risk of violence and harassment."

View a more detailed list of the Council’s commitment to ending harassment and violence against women and girls. 

The police are appealing to the public for any information and have recently issued a CCTV appeal.

If you have experienced any form of violence or abuse, you can contact the Women and Girls Network - a free advice and support service run by women, for women. Call 0808 801 0660 or visit Women and Girls Network website for more information. 

Orleans House Gallery was lit up in orange on March 17 in memory of Sarah Everard. The colour orange is used by the United Nations in its UNiTE by 2030 to End Violence against Women campaign.

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Updated: 26 October 2021