Women of Cambridge Reclaim the Night

Female students occupy Cambridge to reclaim the streets.

Cambridge feminism Feminism Francesca Ebel male feminism rape culture reclaim the night violence against women women's campaign

Last night, the women of Cambridge took to the streets to Reclaim The Night as part of a nationwide demonstration against rape and violence towards women.

Brandishing banners and beating drums, over a hundred self-defining women braved the cold and marched from Parker’s Piece to King’s Chapel, where the Chaplin warmly welcomed demonstrators in for the candle-lit vigil.

In a speech preceding the march, CUSU Women’s officer Lauren Steele said that “Cambridge is no exception to rape culture in our society”.

Across universities in the UK, 1 in 7 students have experienced sexual harassment whilst 1 in 20 have been raped. “That’s at least one person in your lecturers…” added one protestor from Murray Edwards.

Talking to The Tab, Liz Wilson, a third year at Corpus pointed to one sign, which read ‘I want to walk home alone!’.

“That’s the reason I’m here – I’m sick of the obligation to be walked home.”

Chris Page, an MPhil student at Queens, explained the importance of male participation in feminist events:

“We’re lucky because don’t have to fear violence walking home at night

“My girlfriend, however, feels afraid walking down the same route

“We need to provide support and speak out – have the courage to call out people in our own group of friends who are out of order.”

Walking past the march, onlookers were bemused. A post-grad from Caius, Marianne, told The Tab “I think this is great but I don’t feel scared here in Cambridge… I very feel secure.”

Photo credits: Imogen Chitty