LONDON — Thousands of women across Britain have shared stories online of harassment and fear in public spaces after a woman went missing in London last week and a police officer was arrested in connection with the case.
Many women urged the authorities to make streets safer and address gender violence at a time when pandemic lockdown restrictions have emptied the country’s streets.
“We’re scared, we’re shaken and we’re intimidated,” Mandu Reid, the leader of the Women’s Equality Party, who is running for mayor of London in an election in May, said in an interview.
“While we have been confined to our homes, going out for walks has been an important release,” Ms. Reid said. “Now this has happened, and we feel under threat and under siege.”
Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive, was last seen on March 3 in the Clapham neighborhood of south London. The police said on Wednesday that human remains had been found as part of their investigation into her disappearance, prompting an outpouring of grief from lawmakers, community leaders and London residents.
70 percent of women in Britain had experienced sexual harassment in public.