Women’s safety: Justice for Blessing Olusegun

Following the vigils for Sarah Everard, the chairs of Southwark and Lewisham trades councils issued a joint statement. As well as raising questions about police action regarding the serving police officer charged with Sarah’s murder, and the brutal police behaviour at the Clapham Common vigil, the statement also referred to the death of Blessing Olusegun.

Blessing was a 21-year-old business student from London who went to Bexhill on a one-week placement as a carer to help elderly people with dementia and other mental health issues.

She was found dead on Bexhill beach near Galley Hill on Friday 18 September 2020 with her shoes and phone nearby her body. The police are treating her death as non-suspicious.

However, Blessing’s mother, Esther Abe, is demanding to know why her daughter died.

The joint statement asks: “Why have the police, MPs and media maintained their silence? We need justice for Blessing and her family. We need fairness and we need democratic accountability of the police and government”.

The petition regarding Blessing Olusegun’s case can be found at: www.change.org/p/government-justice-for-blessing

The statement also called for discussion and plans as to how trade unions can be more vocal and instrumental in challenging violence and sexism in the workplace, while also ensuring there is equal attention given to black women and men. The case of Unite fighting sexual harassment in a mainly male workforce, Woolwich Ferry, is a serious and effective example of what can be done to act together for safety and equality.