Speakers, stalls and a disco showcasing female DJ-ing talents have been planned for this year’s women-only event by the London Feminist Network.
The Reclaim the Night march, which will start at 6pm at Whitehall Place and continue to the Camden Centre, has a great deal of local support in Croydon, Lewisham and Hackney.
Croydon-based Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre has given all the women who plan to march their full support.
Helpline Coordinator Fiona Elvines explains that safety for women in public spaces is an important part of the centers work.
“Many of our women will be attending as individual marchers” said Elvines, who explained the RASASC was just too busy at this time of year to attend as an organization.
They will be joined by feminist groups from Goldsmiths College and by the MP for Hackney North Diane Abbot, who has supported the campaign for 30 years.
Yesterday she insisted the march’s central premise that keeping women off the streets is no way to tackle violence and rape is “as true now as is was back then.”
“Giving advice that women shouldn’t get drunk or that women shouldn’t walk about at night, not only conceals the reality of violence against women – that it is overwhelmingly perpetrated by men known to the victim – but also puts the focus on women’s behaviour, instead of men’s.”
UK’s Reclaim the Night movement began in 1977 in several cities, including London. By marching, the London Feminist Network hopes to thrust issues regarding civil liberties for women and conviction rate for rapists into the spotlight.
The Conviction rate for rapists remains low, at 6.5 per cent; two decades ago this was 19 per cent. Their network believes that woman should be able to walk in a public space without the threat or reality of rape:
“We march today to demand an end to male violence against women, we take back this night to win the day”.
For more information about the Reclaim the night march visit their website.