Cambridge Reclaim The Night

Last Monday, saw 300 women, and one very brave small child take to the cold, windy streets of Cambridge to participate in the city’s own version of the nation-wide anti-rape march Reclaim the Night. HollabackLDN’s Julia went up to give a talk at King’s Chapel where the women, joined by the men’s solidarity march wound up and reflected on the progress made, and the fight we still need to fight.

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It was a thoroughly uplifting event, and it was humbling to see the energy, enthusiasm and anger displayed by the Cambridge community over such a crucial issue. It’s vital we still hold these events and come together to stand up against rape, sexual violence and inequality, to reclaim our space in the public arena. I was joined on the podium by some wonderful speakers, including a representative from Cambridge Women’s aid who gave a touching talk on the importance of speaking up on behalf of those women who have no voice, suffering from domestic violence, victims in their own homes. I’d like to say thank you to Susy Langsdale who organised the whole thing, who’s energy, devotion and avidity even in the face of a stinking cold was nothing short of heroic-Julia

The UK incarnation of Reclaim the Night first came into existence when, during the sex attacks by the ‘Yorkshire Ripper’ Peter Sutcliffe in and around Leeds in 1977, the police response-issued only after the first non sex-worker victim was claimed-was to implement a curfew for women to ‘keep them safe’. Women took to the streets to fight for their right to walk their own streets and challenge the still accepted social construct which posits that women are responsible for not getting themselves raped, as oppose to men are responsible for not raping. Thirty-five years later, little has changed but we are still making our voices heard.

Read this great article on the event by Lauren Steele for the Cambridge Students paper here

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