Students are holding a Reclaim the Night protest tonight on The Vale

It is scheduled for 6pm outside the Shackleton side of the Vale lake

Students have organised a peaceful protest tonight, March 17, on The Vale to take back the night and stand up for the sexual harassment of women around campus.

It will be socially distanced, and attendees are encouraged to wear a mask and bring a candle.

After last week’s horrific death of Sarah Everard, vigils have been held across the country to protest against the sexual harassment of women.

It has been reported that female UoB students on the Vale are being forced into cars on the road by Shackleton, and also being followed home from campus. Those organising the protest are hoping to empower and unite women feeling unsafe following the reports.

A post circulating on social media

The Birmingham Tab spoke to Acacia Matthews, a first year Political Science and IR student, who is one of the organisers of the event.

“I’m angry at the lack of regard for general safety let alone women’s safety on the Vale at the moment. There is so much regulation in terms of social interaction yet next to nothing in terms of who is allowed to drive onto the Vale”, she told The Birmingham Tab.

Acacia spoke about the attacks on women who she knows personally, “who have been followed and chased in cars around the Edgbaston/campus area in broad daylight who have reported it to Vale security. However an email which circulated yesterday claimed that the Vale knew nothing about it”, she told The Birmingham Tab.

Information about today’s peaceful protest

Speaking of the number of girls targeted by the assaults, Acacia told The Birmingham Tab, “the number that is going round is about 5/6 girls that have been forced into cars but I fear that it is higher as not all women would feel comfortable and able to come forward about experiences like this.”

The aim of the protest is to “empower and unite women and men on campus to feel as though they can speak up about it and that they are able to actively do something against the Vale’s inaction,” she told The Birmingham Tab.

Tom Wood, a final year History with Political Science student uploaded details of the protest to Fab N Fresh. Tom told The Birmingham Tab, “The Uni’s response to the sexual abuse and harassment of students has been disgusting, negligent and reeks of misogynistic ignorance.

“Us students have to be the ones that look out for each other and this protest is the perfect way to show solidarity and support those who have undergone traumatising abuse and harassment.”

The Reclaim Our Campus Instagram page can be found here.

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