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15th Mar 2021

Blessing Olusegun’s death receives increased attention in demand for justice

Charlie Herbert

The student’s death in September last year had similarities with that of Sarah Everard

The body of 21-year-old Blessing Olusegun was discovered on a beach in East Sussex six months ago. Sussex Police concluded that Olusegun’s was “unexplained” and a postmortem determined that she died by drowning.

Yet there was over five hours between Olusegen’s last sighting at 1am and the discovery of her body at 6.20am.

Sarah Everard’s disappearance and tragic death has led to calls for justice in Ms Olusegun’s case due to what many believe to be similarities between the cases. Both women were on the phone to their boyfriends, and were both last seen walking alone, before they went missing. Yet their cases have been treated in very different ways.

Everard’s death has resulted in widespread media attention, vigils, and a renewed interest and focus on women’s safety. However for many this will be the first they have heard of Olusegen’s tragic death.

A petition has been started on calling for justice for the 21 year-old and her family. At the time of writing it has amassed almost 23,000 signatures, and many are now using Twitter and social media to increase publicity of the case, including Labour MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy.

For others, the reason for the difference in coverage between the two cases was unavoidable.

In a similar way to how George Floyd’s death sparked a greater focus on all issues of racism and examples of institutional racism, Sarah Everard’s death may act as a spark that highlights similar tragic cases that have received nowhere near enough coverage or attention.

The investigation into Olusegun’s death is still open, and Sussex Police are still asking for anyone who saw her on the night she went missing – September 18th – or anyone who may have any information on the case, to get in touch.