The aunt of murdered lawyer Zara Aleena joins the march demanding an end to male violence

For free, real-time breaking news sent straight to your inbox, Sign up for our breaking news emailsSign up for our free breaking news emails

The aunt of murdered trainee lawyer Zara Aleena said she was “always hopeful” that a system that was “generally broken” and failed to protect women could change.

Farah Naz spoke as she joined hundreds of people who marched to remember and mourn women and girls killed by male violence and to demand action to combat them.

Supporters of the Million Women Rise (MWR) collective, walking through central London’s West End shopping district to Trafalgar Square on Saturday, claimed that the lack of action against male violence amounts to state-inflicted or sanctioned abuse.

They drummed, sang and carried signs reading “Together we can end male violence” and “Women are not the problem” during protests ahead of International Women’s Day on Wednesday.

Ms Naz told the PA news agency: “Zara’s loss is the loss of society.”

She added: “Zara brought me, my sister and my friends here, but we are here for all women, all girls, to make a difference and make sense of the tragedy that has befallen us.

“We are in trauma but at the same time we are very encouraged by the support in society from all sectors and leaders.

“We hope things can change for other women and girls.

Failures in the parole service were among the issues that meant a known offender was free to murder Ms. Aleena.

Jordan McSweeney, 29, has been sentenced to life in prison and a minimum of 38 years in prison after admitting to sexually assaulting and murdering the 35-year-old law graduate in Ilford, east London, in June last year.

READ :  London lawyer fights university, college use of non-disclosure agreements

Her voice breaking, Ms Naz said: “We lost Zara, but we don’t want her death to be the end.

“The loss of Zara is the loss of society and we must become more than that as victims. There must be work with communities and leaders.

“Today’s protest sheds light on the flaws and a system that is broken across the board.

“We know from Zara’s case that the probation service has made a number of mistakes, big mistakes that are so deeply painful to us as a family and to us as a society that we need to be aware of them because it means women don’t are safe.”

The number of women murdered is a sign something is wrong, she added.

Ms Naz said: “We already know that domestic violence leads to so many deaths and that because it is not treated like any other form of violence, we have seen a lack of convictions that then release men to murder women .

“We know that parole collapsed because privatization happened and then resulted in a broken and unmaintained system.

We demand that those in power prioritize the safety of girls and women

Mina Kleinman

“We know that reviews were written when other people were being murdered and the recommendations were not followed up.

“We know that government leaders have let us down.

“We know the systems have let us down, but there are people working to change that.”

Danyal Hussein has been jailed for at least 35 years after murdering sisters Nicole Smallman, 27, and Bibaa Henry, 46, in 2020.

READ :  Lawyers start training for MD access to counsel in evictions program

Deniz Jaffer and Jamie Lewis, two Met Police officers who took photos of the murdered sisters and shared the images on WhatsApp groups, were later jailed.

In a video message of support, Mina Smallman, the sisters’ mother, told the protesters: “We have so much important work to do.

“I want us all to embrace the slogan, ‘It’s time.’ We’ve talked enough. We have enough rhetoric. Now we demand that those in power put the safety of girls and women first.”

MWR also noted that despite multiple charges against him, serial rapist David Carrick kept his job as a Metropolitan Police officer, allowing him to commit a string of crimes over nearly 20 years.

The disgraced 48-year-old PC, who was described as a “monster” and “evil” by some of his dozen victims, was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum sentence of 32 years after carrying out a “catalogue of violence and brutality”. . Sexual assaults between 2003 and 2020.

The cost of living crisis is also trapping women with abusers and decimating essential support services, MWR warned.