Candles and flowers left at the Kidbrooke vigil held on Friday 24th September.
Candles and flowers left at the Kidbrooke vigil held on Friday 24th September.

Greenwich Labour stands in solidarity with women and girls against all forms of violence following the horrific murder of Sabina Nessa in our Borough. We pay tribute to her life and send our sympathies to her loved ones and all who knew her.

On Friday 17th September, Sabina Nessa left her home to simply meet a friend in a bar less in Kidbrooke than 10 minutes away. But she never made it to the bar.

Her senseless murder reminds us why violence against all women and girls needs to be at the top of everyone’s agenda.

Councillor Denise Scott-McDonald, Greenwich Labour’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Good Growth, spoke at the vigil, saying:

“Sabina Nessa was a teacher, a friend, a sister. She’s the latest in a painful, long list of women attacked on our streets. Nicole Smallman, Bibaa Henry, Sarah Everard, Blessing Olusegun. And now Sabina.

We do not want to see another women added to that list. So, we need every member of our community to come together, say no more and confront sexism, misogyny, abuse and violence against women. Forever.”

Earlier this year, Greenwich’s Labour Council began developing a new women’s public safety plan to improve how we understand and tackle the causes and consequences of violence against women.

We’ve also made big investments in upgrading our CCTV systems over the next few years, to support our emergency services in keeping our communities safer.

Because our number one priority is keeping Greenwich residents and visitors safe.

We’re also proud that Eltham Labour proposed and successfully passed a motion at Labour Party Conference committing a future Labour Government to doing everything it can to ensure the epidemic of violence against women and girls is ended as a matter of priority.

Rachel Taggart-Ryan, Eltham Labour’s Chair, moved the motion, saying:

There needs to be a societal change in the treatment of women. We must be free to exist in public spaces without fear of violence. The focus for police and other local authorities tasked with keeping us safe must be upon the offender and not upon women.

Sabina was not murdered because of the way she walked that night, or the clothes she was wearing. She was murdered because, highly likely, she encountered a violent man.

That is the problem. She was not the problem. The problem cannot be solved by telling women how to live in their own communities.”

Violence against women is unacceptable and we will do all we can to work with women, the police and community groups to end the scourge of this within our Borough. No one is safe unless all of us are safe.

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