‘We must teach respect’ - ex-Northumbria Police officer talks violence against women following Sarah Everard murder

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The murder of Sarah Everard has fuelled a nationwide conversation about violence against women and girls.

Details of her killer, Wayne Couzens, indicate that he was able to engage in sexist behaviour unchallenged whilst serving as a police officer.

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So is it possible to eradicate the kind of behaviour that can potentially lead to fatal consequences?

As a police officer with Northumbria Police, Rie Pearson encountered instances of domestic violence that had a lasting impact.

Now in retirement, she has written a book called “Be Kind. No Excuses” that tells the stories of five different women and their experiences with domestic violence.

Her hope is that the lessons from these women can be taught in schools and organisations to help women and girls identify the early warning signs of an abuser.

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Following the revelations surrounding the behaviour of Wayne Couzens, concerns have been raised about wider cultural problems within the police, and society, that allow sexist behaviour to continue and develop.

Rie believes that educating all youngsters about their role in combating sexism could be a promising first step in addressing the issue.

During her time with the force, Rie said that she never felt that she was the victim of sexism, and wanted to highlight that she always felt respected by her male counterparts.

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