Lights in the dark at Eastbourne vigil for murdered teacher Sabina Nessa

An emotional vigil in honor of schoolteacher Sabina Nessa took place in Eastbourne, the seaside town where the man suspected of her murder was arrested last month.

As the sun set over the golden dome of the pier that stretched out to the sea, around 200 people gathered to pay their respects and protest the “crisis” in violence against women.

The peaceful protest was marked by cheers and applause as those addressing the crowd spoke out against the blame of the victims.

Later, the darkening sky was lit by the lights of dozens of cellphones, as a minute’s silence was observed for Ms Nessa.

The 28-year-old teacher was walking to meet a friend at a pub near her home when she was fatally assaulted.

People at a vigil for Sabina Nessa at Eastbourne Pier (Gareth Fuller / PA)

The trip should have taken only five minutes, but instead she was killed at Cator Park in Kidbrooke, south-east London.

His body was found nearly 24 hours later covered in leaves near a community center in the park.

Tuesday’s vigil comes amid continued public outrage and debate over women’s safety and policing.

Addressing those gathered on the waterfront on Tuesday evening, co-organizer Natasha Peacock said: “Sabina Nessa should still be alive.

“She was loved and will be dearly missed.”

Death of Sabina Nessa
People at a vigil for Sabina Nessa at Eastbourne Pier (Gareth Fuller / PA)

Many in attendance were holding pictures of Ms Nessa, while others carried signs calling for male violence or remembering Sarah Everard.

A sign read “When will women be safe?” While another said “She was just walking home.”

Natasha continued, “Women are afraid for their lives.

“We have to take into account the risk of going out on our own after 6 p.m. and potentially being attacked, raped or murdered and the advice to flag buses does not make us feel safe.

“It’s a crisis. We must make the safety of women and girls a priority.

The peaceful protest outside the town’s Victorian Pier continued for about an hour, with various speakers addressing the crowd.

At around 7 p.m., those gathered stopped in thoughtful reflection as a Muslim prayer was read.

The vigil ended with a minute’s silence for Ms Nessa, as people held up their phone torches in the air in the growing darkness.

Koci Selamaj was arrested in the town of East Sussex in the early hours of September 26.

A light-colored Nissan Micra was seized on a leafy residential street about half a mile away.

Selamaj, 36, of Eastbourne, has said he will deny the murder charge.

He was remanded in custody ahead of a plea hearing on December 16.

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