Zara Aleena, a 35-year old British woman and aspiring lawyer, has died after she was attacked while walking home in East London during the early morning of Sunday June 26.
Aleena, a law graduate from the University of Westminster, was walking in Ilford when she was assaulted by a man authorities believe was a complete stranger.
Police officers found her around 02:44 a.m. and paramedics were called to the scene, but she died in the hospital soon after.
A postmortem showed Aleena had suffered from multiple serious injuries, including to the head, but concluded no weapons had been used.
The Metropolitan police arrested Jordan McSweeney, a 29-year-old man, on Monday.
The man has been charged with allegedly trying to rape and rob her, according to a press release from the Met Police.
Aleena’s friends and family have expressed horror and indignation over the attack.
“She walked everywhere. She put her party shoes in a bag and donned her trainers. She walked. Zara believed that a woman should be able to walk home. Now, her dreams of a family are shattered, her future brutally taken,” Aleena’s family said in a statement.
On Saturday, hundreds of people dressed in white showed up at a vigil for Aleena.
“We are devastated and angry at the murder of another woman who had every right to be safe. Our thoughts and solidarity are with Zara’s family and loved ones,” the director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition said.
Last year, the murder of Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old British marketing executive, by a police officer in London ignited nationwide protests and demands for reform.
But many say little has changed since.
Six months after Everard’s death, Sabina Nessa, a 28-year-old elementary school teacher, was attacked and killed after she left her house in another part of London to meet her friends at a pub five minutes away.
“How many more women have to die before there is a real sense of action and systemic change, and a response to the way the system is failing victims of violence at every single level?” Aisha K. Gill, a professor of criminology at the University of Roehampton, told the New York Times at the time.