After a night out with friends, 35 year old Zara was walking along Cranbrook Road in Ilford – ten minutes from her home – when she was attacked in what police described as a “horrific assault”.
A vigil in memory of Zara will be held tomorrow (Saturday, July 2) outside Dewsbury Town Hall between 1.30pm and 2.30pm.
This show of solidarity has been orchestrated by Batley East councillor Fazila Loonat, with support from Tanisha Bramwell.
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Tanisha said: “There is a pandemic both locally and nationally when it comes to violence against women.
“Zara Aleena’s case is not the first time we are hearing of women walking home and being attacked and I don’t want to say the word ‘normalised’ but essentially it is.
“Statistically, I think around 96 or 97 per cent of women will be subject to some sort of abuse at the hands of a man at some point in their life.
“This protest is to stand in solidarity and to raise the awareness that women don’t feel safe and that this does not lie with preventative measures for women that we have all been taught from a young age.
“It should start with educating young men and having those conversations.
“It is about education, awareness, standing in solidarity, sharing stories and experiences and taking a stand.”
The vigil will hear from a mix of speakers and is a public event open to everyone.
Twenty-nine year old Jordan McSweeney, of Dagenham, has appeared at the Old Bailey charged with murdering Zara.