Reclaim The Night: Lincoln students rally in protest for female safety

‘Let people live’

On Thursday evening chants of “Reclaim the Night” could be heard throughout the streets of Lincoln as students rallied together in protest of violence against women and to raise awareness for female safety. This yearly event reminds students that people are listening, to speak up and be heard. The evening started at The Swan where two student union officers gave speeches about the importance of the event and then students began their march through the campus and down the high street. We spoke with some particularly passionate students who were keen to express their feelings towards the protest and the cause.

‘It’s really emotional and reassuring that people do care’

Zuzanna is the wellbeing and community student leader. She was one of the speakers at the event and was extremely empowering to speak to. After an inspiring talk at the beginning of the night she also effectively ended the evening with a final chant of “what do we want…peace!”

We asked her about her feelings about the event, she said: “It’s really emotional and reassuring that people do care. It is not just women which is nice to see. It is really important to have a safe space to get the frustration out of your system. I feel it is reassuring that the uni is there, along with the student union and well-being who are also amazing.”

‘Women should not be intimidated’

William is a third year architectural science and technology student. He was brave to tell his personal story of why he is attending the event after an attack that happened to him during a night out. He was eager to chat with us and had an extremely positive and friendly approach.

He said: “I am here to support women, women should not be intimidated. Men should also not be intimidated too. I was sticking up for a female friend who was being flirted with by a guy and was physically assaulted because of it. It is important to be here.”

‘You want people walking alone to be safe’

Maisy is an criminology postgraduate student and Jack is a first year film production student. Throughout the march Jack was fearless in starting chants, raising the energy and making himself heard. He truly stood out as an ally. Similarly, Maisy was eager to speak with us and worded her opinions towards the protest effortlessly. Both were very happy with the turnout of the event.

When asked about his sign, Jack said: “I like the graphic, shock-factor signs. They are really good to help catch the eyes of people going by at night.”

Maisy also said: “Overall, you want people walking alone to be safe. This helps bring awareness of how to dispell rape culture.”

‘Let people live’

Nikita, a first year ambulance and technician practice student had a very clear message about the entire event. She said to simply: “let people live.”

‘People feel they can’t talk about it’

Nat is the campaigns and environments officer at the student union.

After briefly chatting with her about the event she told us: “It’s all about being heard and making noise. People feel like they can’t talk about it. This acts as a safe space and shows that others are wanting to do the same.”

‘We need more streetlights’

Faith is a community officer and was one of the speakers at the event. Her speech gave a brief history to the event, along with describing the sheer importance of it. Her courage was admirable as she spoke to not only a large gathering of Lincoln students, but also a few media crews and cameras.

Overall her opinions were: “Generally gender violence is not an issue that is spoken about enough. Also we need more streetlights.”

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