As the case of Sarah Everard continues to send shockwaves across the country, part of the devastating reaction to her case has turned to the safety of women in public places.

Since Sarah's disappearance in London last week, thousands of people have expressed shock and fear about the circumstances surrounding the incident, with many sharing their experiences of feeling unsafe on streets across the UK.

From how women try to protect themselves when out alone, to experiences they've had, to how men can help women to feel safer in these circumstances, the conversation while welcomed, is one we've sadly had before.

Bournemouth Echo:

A missing sign outside Poynders Court on the A205 in Clapham (Victoria Jones/PA)

Who is Sarah Everard and why are people talking about this?

Sarah disappeared after walking home from a friend's house in Clapham Common, South London, last Wednesday evening. 

The investigation into her disappearance has now moved to Kent with a man arrested on suspicion of murder and kidnap, and a woman on suspicion of assisting an offender.

On Wednesday evening, police involved in the search for Sarah confirmed they had found human remains in woodland near Ashford.

Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Cressida Dick, described news that one of the force's officers had been arrested in connection with their investigation as "shocking" and "deeply disturbing".

The disappearance of Sarah has prompted calls for more action to be taken to tackle intimidation and violence against women. 

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Many women have shared their stories and concerns online since Sarah’s disappearance last week. These are so powerful because each and every woman can relate.

"Every woman should feel safe to walk on our streets without fear of harassment or violence.

“At this deeply sad and tragic time as we think and pray for Sarah and her family, I will continue through my role to do all I can to protect women and girls from violence and harassment.”

READ MORE: Marti Reynolds jailed for four years for Bournemouth rape

Dorset Police have shared their advice on keeping safe: 

While being unable to comment directly on the case, Dorset Police have issued safety advice for people:

Bournemouth Echo:

  • Make sure your phone is charged before you go out and you are able to make calls
  • Keep a small amount of money in your clothing, just in case you lose your purse or wallet and need to contact someone or get yourself home
  • Avoid walking alone at night: keep to well-lit roads and make sure someone knows where you are at all times
  • Avoid short cuts that go through dark isolated areas
  • If you are carrying a bag, try to hold it across your chest with your hand over the fastening
  • Don’t carry any valuables on your person that you do not need, for example credit cards of important documents. Be discreet with your belongings – keep any valuables you are carrying out of sight as much as possible
  • Be aware of your surroundings: talking on a mobile phone or listening to an MP3 player can distract you from what is going on around you and also alerts thieves that you have something to steal
  • We would urge anyone who is a victim of crime to contact us. If a crime is in progress dial or life is in danger dial 999 immediately.

Bournemouth Echo:

Violent crimes against women are all too common in the UK, MPs urge. 

Thousands of women have shared their experiences online 

Thousands of people have gone online to express their anger at feeling unsafe in public places.

The Met Police have said a crime of this type, for a woman to be abducted off the street, is incredibly rare. 

However, violence and initimadition of women is all too common place across the UK.

Labour MP Jess Phillips said: "It is not rare for women to suffer violence at home, at work or on the streets." 

Online, women have shared their experiences of harrassment, intimidation and violence as well as the methods they have learned to try and keep themselves safe.

Like thousands of others, ITV newsreader Julie Etchingham recounted the everday vigilance women are engrained with - keeping her keys in hand, planning 'safe' routes, wearing shoes she could run in and talking loudly on the phone as methods to keep safe on the streets. 

Another tweet with more than 30,000 likes explained that the story of what has happened to Sarah Everard is "proof that we're not afraid for no reason". 

Among the women calling for change is Dr Rosena Allin-Khan who said:

"It is not a woman's responsibility to keep safe on the streets, it's the responsibility of predators not to attack us."

There's no doubt, this deeply moving and traumatic case has sparked national debate. 

Campaigners have been using their platforms online to shed a light on cases across the country where women have suffered fatal violence. 

The family of student Blessing Olusegen who was just 21 when she was found dead on a beach in Sussex last year are still seeking answers.

Calls to change the way we approach violence against women:

One of the key messages people are sharing is that women are not to blame for violence; instead there are calls to educate men on their collective responsibility to keep all members of society safe. 

A covid-secure vigil has been planned as women across the country share their safety concerns.

The 'Reclaim These Streets" event will be held on Clapham Common on Saturday evening. 

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article and need support visit Victim Support Dorset or End Violence Against Women.