Colchester sexual violence charity marching to Reclaim the Night

The team at the Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse (CARA) are preparing placards for their Reclaim

The team at the Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse (CARA) are preparing placards for their Reclaim The Night march in Colchester on Saturday night. Picture: CARA - Credit: Archant

A women’s charity in Colchester is calling on the town to join them as they march down the high street after dark, protesting against sexual violence.

Organised by Colchester-based charity CARA (Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse), the Reclaim the Night march will fill the streets with light and noise as they lead a march through the centre of the town.

Starting at 5.45pm on Saturday, November 17, at the Firstsite Gallery, the march aims to give women a voice and a chance to reclaim the streets at night in a safe and empowering environment.

Sarah Clementson, CARA Manager and Reclaim the Night organiser, said: “We are inviting the whole community to march with us, reclaim the night and light up Colchester.

“By marching we are saying no to sexual violence, domestic abuse, street harassment, rape culture, victim blaming and all forms of male violence against women.

“We are marching for a better world, free from violence and abuse.”

The route will take the march, with a rolling roadblock provided by Essex Police, from Firstsite, to Queens Street, right into St John’s Street, along Head Street and finally down High Street to finish back at Firstsite.

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A banner making stall will be available in Colchester High Street market from 10am to 4pm, near to the Waterstone’s, Greggs and Fenwick’s stores.

The first Reclaim the Night march took place in Leeds in 1977, when women took to the streets to protest 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”.

Ms Clementson added: “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.

“This is unacceptable and we are calling on anyone of any gender who agrees to join us on the march.”

CARA works with victims and survivors of sexual violence and child sexual abuse, providing independent, specialist support.

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