The sentencing of the ‘pugnacious and deeply violent man’ for the murder of Zara Aleena is at least some justice. The 38 year prison sentence for the brutal, sexually motivated murder won’t change the consequences of his actions, or bring Zara back, but it does, at least show that there are consequences for his crimes.
We are thinking of the devastation and loss Zara’s family and friends have gone through, we send our love and our condolences.
Every year in the UK more than one hundred women are killed by a man. That’s more than two a week, and it’s thought that more than three women a week take their own lives as a result of the trauma of their abuse. There are also so many women struggling on carrying the trauma of their abuse with them and women living with abuse out of fear of leaving or concerns for their children.
The message that sexual assault and violence towards women is criminal and abhorrent is not always made clear by our justice system. In the UK less than 2% of rape trails end in conviction, a number that has been going down in recent years.
We’re told today by the Ministry of Justice that this is changing, that in the most recent data for 2022, ‘the number of cases referred by the police to the Crown Prosecution Service was up 95 percent; the volume of cases charged was up by two-thirds; and the number of cases reaching the Crown Court was up 91 percent, compared to 2019 averages’, so, maybe things are slowly improving.
But, this doesn’t mean that sexual assault and male violence against women and girls is going down, it means, possibly, that it is now being taken more seriously as a crime.
We’re so tired of hearing that there are ‘lessons to be learned’ and ‘changes will be made’ or that this is an unusual crime by ‘a few bad apples’. Male violence against women and girls is endemic, systemic and we all know that apologies without change are meaningless. We want change.
People’s lives are being devastated, ruined and irrevocably changed and too often we act like this is ‘normal’.
Enough is Enough.
Our hearts go out to Zara’s family and her loved ones – and to everyone affected by abuse and violence.
If you need support we’re here: [email protected] or 0808 552 5565