‘We will not be silenced’ - Hundreds march in protest against sexual violence
- Credit: MEGAN SALIU
More than 200 protestors took to the streets to take a stand against male violence towards women.
The Reclaim the Night march, organised on Saturday evening by the Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse (CARA), saw protestors fill the streets of Colchester with light and noise.
People of all ages donned bright and colourful clothing as they followed a police rolling roadblock while waving banners calling for an end to sexual violence.
CARA manager Sarah Clementson said she was “delighted” by the turn out.
“It was an incredible evening and a really powerful and emotional event,” she added.
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“It saw us stand shoulder-to-shoulder to take a stand against male violence towards women.
“We made the hidden visible. We stood together and said this violence is not OK. That we will not be silenced and that this has to stop.”
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The march set off from Firstsite Gallery and covered a route including Queen Street, St John’s Walk, Head Street and High Street before returning to Firstsite.
The first Reclaim the Night march took place in Leeds in 1977, when women took to the streets to protest against the police requesting women to stay at home after dark in response to Peter Sutcliffe’s Yorkshire Ripper murders.
Their placards read: “No curfew on women – curfew on men”.
Speaking before the event, Ms Clementson said: “It’s hard to believe how much the march is still needed over 40 years after it came the UK, yet the #MeToo and Times Up movements make it clear why it is still so important.
“The statistics speak for themselves: One in three women experience sexual abuse of some kind in their lifetime and two women a week are killed by their male partner or ex-partner.”
CARA, which works with victims and survivors of sexual violence and child sexual abuse, will be marking its 30th anniversary in Colchester next year.
“We look forward to returning to make even more noise,” Ms Clementson added.