Six months on from the murder of Sarah Everard - are the streets any safer for women?

Video report by ITV News' Amrit Birdi

This week marks six months since the tragic death of Sarah Everard, whose murder sparked a national outcry against the rates of violence against women in this country.

In July an updated strategy on tackling violence against women and girls was published by the government. But there are many who believe significant change is still desperately needed to tackle the insidious and complex problem.

Conversations around violence against women opened up on a national scale after the shocking kidnap, rape and murder of 33-year-old Sarah Everard. 

Her body was found in woodland near Ashford in March, and Wayne Couzens was subsequently arrested at his home in Deal.

Some women have taken it upon themselves to feel safer in the streets. At one self-defence class in the UK, women are taught basic moves that could help if they were to be attacked.

Pamela Pastaio said: "When I was mugged I was about 16, it may be 40 years ago, but it's always stayed with you and you kind of think, I was completely unaware of my handbag, but it was scary as you get older, I'm sort of feeling less vulnerable I feel more vulnerable."

Dene Josham from Streetwise Defence said: "It's about, for me, it's about making people more aware and keeping them safe for helping them keep safe and empowering them."

Watch: Women at this self-defence class 'want to be ready for anything that could happen'

Self-defence classes may work to make women feel safer, but there are many that would argue it's actually fighting a symptom, and not the cause of violence against women.

Last month, the government published its updated tackling violence against women and girls strategy.

In it, Minister for Safeguarding, Victoria Atkins, says she wants women and girls to look forwards, not over their shoulder.

Minister for Safeguarding, Victoria Atkins

Ms Atkins said: "Sadly, these attitudes are centuries in the making.

"And that's why the challenge of spreading education of helping people understand when they're making women feel unsafe or girls feel unsafe.

"That's why it's such a job of work, but education is a critical part of this, and we want boys that are going to school at the moment to grow up into adults who understand what healthy and respectful relationships look like."

Watch: Kent Police's Assistant Chief Constable, Simon Wilson, says violence against women has been an area of focus 'for many years'

Non-violent protest group Reclaim These Streets say everyone wins if women feel safer.

Jamie Klingler, co-founder, said: "If the women that you love and that you care about aren't scared all the time you're, you're more relaxed you feel better.

"Everyone feels better at the end of the night because you know everyone's getting home safely. Like, this is a no lose situation if women are safer."

Violence against women remains a serious problem in the UK, and that's not taking into account the thousands of cases that go unreported.