THE helplessness that grips us as we watch the rolling news coverage of Vladimir Putin’s barbaric assault on Ukraine is not a new feeling. Whenever we are the horrified bystanders of tragic world events, it is always there. We look to our leaders to do something meaningful on our behalf. We are often left wanting.

Grassroots activism and organising is one way that the public can demonstrate their anger or solidarity.

While the world has rightly been pre-occupied by the needless violence being inflicted on the people of Ukraine, last week we were reminded of the individual acts of brutality that we too often see on the streets and in homes across the UK.

The one-year anniversary of Sarah Everard’s murder was marked with remembrance events and renewed calls for more action to tackle men’s violence against women. And last Friday, the killer of Sabina Nessa admitted his guilt in court. When she was murdered in London last September, we felt a similar sense of helplessness. There was also anger at what was yet another example of a man deciding to play God with a woman’s life.

READ MORE: Sex predator admits murder of primary school teacher Sabina Nessa

Vigils were organised and candles were lit in her memory. It wasn’t enough. It never is.

As with Sarah Everard, this was another woman lost to the scourge of male violence. The brutal violence Koci Selamaj inflicted upon Sabina Nessa was premeditated. He travelled to London from his home in Eastbourne with the sole intention of attacking a stranger. He lay in wait near a park before Sabina Nessa crossed his path. She was heading to meet a friend in a nearby pub. He saw to it she would never arrive.

Selamaj struck her repeatedly over the head, dragged her unconscious body to a secluded area and then strangled her. In doing so, he robbed those who knew her of a much-loved family member and friend. But it was what he took from the 28-year-old herself that represented evil itself. He stole her future opportunities, achievements and all the memories she had the right to assume she had ample time to make.

She was a primary school teacher. Maybe she would have become one of those teachers that pupils remember fondly when they become adults. She might have been credited with instilling a passion for learning in her students, or for helping them through a difficult time. We’ll never know. All because one man decided to take the life of a stranger.

For all the excuses and warped justifications we always hear when a man murders a woman, doing so is the ultimate act of control. Whether, as in this case, the woman is a stranger or – as happens far more often – the victim is intimately known to the perpetrator, the decision to take the life of another is just that. A decision.

His state of mind, insecurities, predilections or worries are secondary to that overriding belief that he is entitled to do as he pleases, for whatever reason he tells himself. That’s why Sabina’s murder and the premature deaths of all the other women we lose to male violence every year provoke feelings of both helplessness and anger.

It shouldn’t be this way.

Women should be able to walk home alone. They should be able to meet a friend in a pub or go for a run. They should also be able to do all the things that are viewed as risky or reckless only when a woman does them.

Sometimes, when I write about men’s violence against women, I type “woman murdered” or “woman attacked” into Google, and filter the news stories to show only those incidents which have been reported in the last week.

I’m not suggesting you do the same. The results show the worst of humanity and they highlight just how many horrifying acts of brutality never make it on to the front pages and into the public consciousness.

READ MORE: Sarah Everard’s family pay tribute and say they miss her ‘all the time’

They show the sheer scale of the problem of men’s violence against women. That familiar feeling of helplessness rises to the surface and you wonder how we ever have time to be angry about anything else, when this horror is playing out every day across the UK.

But, as the last few weeks have sadly reminded us, there’s more than enough desperation and despair to go around. We can’t (and we shouldn’t) expect everybody to be on high alert to every act of injustice. Sometimes having a moment of quiet reflection is all we’re able to do.

When Sabina Nessa was killed, Women’s Aid tweeted: “All women should be safe both in the streets and in their own homes. In solidarity and sisterhood, let’s remember Sabina Nessa – another life lost to violence against women. Let’s #SaySabinasName so she gets the justice she deserves.”

Sabina’s Nessa’s killer has admitted his guilt. It is right that it is her name we remember, not his.