Friday, 27 November 2015

Exeter 'Reclaim the Night' March

Women Unite to Reclaim the Night - Exeter 2015
Last night (Thursday 26th November 2015) saw four major feminist groups in Exeter combine to put on the largest Reclaim the Night march since they started in Exeter.  Devon Rape Crisis Service, SAFE, Exeter Feminists and the University Femsoc all came together to stage the event and well over 300 people joined the march through the streets of Exeter to raise awareness of how frightening and intimidating it can be for women to be out after dark.

It is really quite appalling that in this day and age of supposed equality that women are fearful of sexual abuse just by going out after darkness falls.

A few of the marchers
The Reclaim The Night marches started in the UK on the 12th November 1977, when torch-lit marches were held across England in Leeds, York, Bristol, Manchester, Newcastle, Brighton and London. They were called by the Leeds Revolutionary Feminist Group, who were inspired by news of co-ordinated women-only ‘Take Back The Night’ marches against sexual harassment, held across towns and cities in West Germany on the 30th April 1977. These were reviewed in the UK Women’s Liberation Movement magazine Spare Rib and titled ‘Germany: Women Reclaim The Night’ (Issue 61). In America the marches are known as ‘Take Back The Night’ and the first formal march with this title was held in San Francisco in 1978. Reportedly, the first ever ‘Reclaim The Night’ march with that title was held in Rome in 1976 to protest against a rise in reported rapes.

Although the original marches were women only marches, latterly men have been allowed to join in the marches to show their solidarity with women - and it was heartening to see so many men amongst the marchers in Exeter last night.

Here is the slideshow video of the march

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