Women to ‘Reclaim the Night’ in a bid to salvage their freedom

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A woman-only ‘Reclaim the Night’ march will be taking to the streets of Lancaster on Friday November 25th.

Natalie Bennett, one of the organisers for the Lancaster march, explained that it will “demonstrate the right [for women] to walk through the city, free from the fear of sexual harassment, abuse and violence on the street, in the workplace, in schools and in the home.”

The marches first began on November 12th, 1997 and were held all across England giving women the chance to take part in what Bennett describes as a “safe and empowering event.”

This year alone, 100,000 women from the UK will have been raped, and only a ridiculously small 6.5% of trials result in a conviction. Bennett also highlighted the fact that “more rapists were convicted in the 1970’s than they are now”.

In 2005, human rights organisation Amnesty International commissioned an ICM poll which discovered that one third of the British public who were surveyed believed that women were completely or partly to blame if they were raped, being seen as encouraging it by drinking, flirting or being outrageously dressed.

Student Mel Neal believes women “should have the freedom to wear what they want” but that they should also be aware that certain types of clothes may be construed as being promiscuous to some.

Bennett told SCAN that “Reclaim the Night aims to educate and eradicate the myths that surround rape and to bring justice to the victims” along with improving “the conviction rate so that those who are guilty of rape pay for their crime” and ensuring “that women are believed”.

The march plans to meet at Dalton Square at 11pm. See this group for more information:  http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=199356110141310.

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