Davina McCall has released a new statement ‘clarifying’ her comments on women’s safety after being criticised for claiming that ‘fear-mongering’ amid the Sarah Everard case is impacting ‘men’s mental health’.
Earlier this week, it was confirmed that Sarah’s body had been found in woodland after she went missing while walking home from a friend’s house in Clapham a week previously.
Wayne Couzens, a serving Met Police officer, has been charged with her kidnap and murder.
In the wake of Sarah’s disappearance and murder at the age of 33, numerous women have been sharing anecdotes on social media regarding their experiences of harassment and assault.
On Friday, Davina, 53, shared a post on Twitter that has been widely lambasted, in which she said that ‘female abduction/murder is extremely rare’ and wrote that ‘this level of fear-mongering isn’t healthy’.
In a new follow-up tweet, Davina said that her initial message was ‘misinterpreted’.
‘To clarify. Any man that’s violent/coercive towards a woman is abhorrent. As for victim shaming. I am not,’ she wrote.
‘The misinterpretation of my post, by some, has been terrifying. Women should feel safe everywhere, all the time. Men should, and many do, help make this idea possible.’
While some Twitter users expressed their support for Davina in response to her new statement, others claimed that she was ‘doubling down’ on her previous comments.
‘You got it wrong, that’s ok.. don’t double down…’ one person responded.
‘No one misrepresented you. We just read your post. Please don’t double down. Don’t try and be a victim in this. You said it was fear mongering,’ another stated.
In her initial tweet, the TV presenter wrote: ‘Yes we should all be vigilant when out alone. But this level of fear-mongering isn’t healthy. And men’s mental health is an issue as well. Calling all men out as dangerous is bad for our sons, brothers, partners.’
Numerous people expressed their opposition to Davina’s sentiment, including the notion that female murder is ‘rare’, with one explaining that while not all men are ‘dangerous’, ‘we can’t tell which ones are and which ones aren’t’.
Another said: ‘None of us have ever said it’s all men, just that there needs to be greater awareness amongst men of how their behaviour does or could impact women.’
On Saturday, a vigil was held at Clapham Common in Sarah’s honour.
The vigil was originally organised by Reclaim The Streets, but the campaign group called it off at the last-minute.
While a virtual vigil was arranged instead, crowds still gathered to pay their respects.
Police descended on the protesters in chaotic scenes, with people captured shouting ‘shame on you’ as officers lead demonstrators away.
In a statement, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said that the Met Police’s response to the vigil was ‘unacceptable’.