'This isn't a 'city' issue. It's a problem here' – Caithness and Sutherland Women's Aid speak out after Sarah Everard death
Get the Courier and Groat sent to your inbox every week and swipe through an exact replica of the day's newspaper
A women's domestic abuse support group in the far north has warned that the death of Sarah Everard should be a wake-up call to communities here.
The 33-year-old went missing after last being seen at Clapham Common in London on March 3 while walking home from a friend's house.
Her remains were later found in woodland in Kent. Met Police officer Wayne Couzens (48) has been charged with her kidnap and murder.
The death has sparked a national outpouring of grief, with people calling for more understanding of the dangers posed to women on a day-to-day basis, and to challenge perpetrators.
Writing in the John O'Groat Journal on Friday, March 19, Caithness and Sutherland Women's Aid (CASWA) team leader and domestic abuse specialist Emma Fraser calls on the whole community to play their part in tackling violence against women.
She states: "We need you to understand, this isn’t a 'city' problem. It is a problem here.
"We are currently supporting 89 women and 48 children and young people locally who have experienced domestic abuse. We know there will be many more.
"Perpetrators of domestic abuse and violence against women walk and live among us. As specialists working locally, we know this all too well."
She urges people not to turn a blind eye and warns: "It is not good enough any more to ignore it."
CASWA manager Kate Blowers added: “This last week has been profoundly shocking and heartbreaking in so many ways – all in a week that started with International Women’s Day and finished on Mother’s Day.
"As a society, we should be shaken and determined to change; as individuals, each and every one of us should be considering how we can make a difference and commit to it.”
- For the full article, pick up this week's John O'Groat Journal or subscribe to the e-edition.