News | Press Release

14 December 2022

Refuge responds to sentencing of Zara Aleena’s murderer

In response to today’s sentencing of Zara Aleena’s murderer at The Old Bailey Refuge Chief Executive Officer, Ruth Davison, said: 

“Refuge and our sister organisations across the Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) sector today stood outside The Old Bailey in support and solidarity with the family of Zara Aleena. Refuge’s thoughts are firmly with Zara’s family today and with the families of all women who have lost their lives to male violence.

The details that have emerged today as Zara’s murderer was sentenced are abhorrent. Zara was a woman with her whole life ahead of her. She should be alive today.

What we have learned about the man who brutally murdered her is that he had followed four other women that night, he had fully intended to commit an act of violence against a woman. This is why women are afraid.

The government have pledged to protect women and girls and declared Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) a ‘national emergency’; the police have also declared VAWG a strategic priority. We need to see these pledges become reality. The time for abstract commitments is over.

The murder of women for simply being women cannot just be another crime statistic, Refuge will keep campaigning against male violence until women and girls are safe, whether that violence is in the home, on streets, in the corridors of power, or perpetrated by those who are supposed to protect us.”