We asked you why Manchester needs to Reclaim The Night
‘I want to feel safe walking alone at 9pm’
With the staggering amount of sexual assaults in Manchester still increasing, Reclaim the Night is fundamental for us to take a stand.
We need to say no to sexual violence against women, street harassment and victim blaming. We went down to a placard making session and asked why it is so important that we, collectively, reclaim the night.
Jess Lishak, Women’s Officer and Event Organiser
“Reclaim the Night is important for so many reasons, it draws attention to how much of an issue street harassment and sexual violence against women is, both to the general public and the authorities. It also creates an incredibly empowering and uplifting event for women and people who have experienced these issues. Being around people who are just as fed up of the situation as you are, and who are supportive of survivors and demanding change is a truly liberating experience and I’m constantly being told by so many women students just how much it’s meant to them.
“This year, the march is going to be bigger and better than ever and the after party line up is looking brilliant. But what’s really exciting is that we’ve been doing sessions in local youth groups and schools about the issues around Reclaim the Night, promoting the youth and families block on the march which will be calling for better consent education from a young age. We’ve also been doing pop-up events in areas of the city that students identified as places they feel most unsafe, reclaiming them for a few hours with music, poetry and light and spreading the word about the event and the cause even further.
“We’re building a movement so that Reclaim the Night is not just about reclaiming one street on one night, but a force for change and empowerment for as many people as possible.”
Maddy, English Literature
“Sexual harassment is a huge issue that isn’t spoken about enough. Reclaim the Night is the one night a year that women can go out, come together and stand against sexual violence.”
Roisin, Lucy and Courteney (History, Law, Sociology)
Roisin: “I didn’t realise how much violence happens in Manchester! We believe that we should join together to bring awareness and make a change.”
Lucy: “As a woman it’s really important to stick up for other women.”
Courteney: “Safety is such an important issue and we all deserve to feel safe.”
Hannah, Children’s Nursing
“It’s important because abuse and assault against women of any sort is unacceptable. We live in a culture now where people think it doesn’t happen but it does and we need to bring awareness to that.”
“I’ve experienced sexual harassment in Manchester that I’ve never experienced before and I want to make a statement and say that it’s my city too and I deserve to feel safe.”
“It’s important to make a statement so that if I want to go out at night, I get to feel safe and not need to find a friend to go with me, I deserve to feel safe!”
“It’s so important to raise awareness that violence against women is still a huge issue.”
Molly, College Student
“The problem of rape culture is still so enormous and it’s not being addressed. So we need to talk about it and make people aware of it even though it’s taboo. It’s a huge issue”.
Ellie, Linguistics & English Literature
“No one should feel scared to walk through the streets at night – this march is the best way to raise awareness, fight back against sexual violence and let our voices be heard”.
Maham, Economics and Philosophy
“I come from Pakistan where women are not privileged enough for even basic rights like education. So I’m fighting for women and speaking for women where I can.”
Hannah and Maia, Midwifery
“We’ve felt afraid coming home in the dark, felt threatened. Finishing night shifts just doesn’t feel safe.”
Maia: “I’ve definitely called my mum before because I was scared, I’ve felt intimidated.
“The women we talk to have been through so much, we’ve seen some horrible things happen and we want to put a stop to it, women deserve to be safe wherever they are.”
Alex and Chris, Classics
Alex: “I’d like to be able to go outside after 9pm and feel safe.”
Chris: “I agree with Alex, everyone deserves to feel safe.”
Reclaim The Night is this Thursday, 25 February, starting at Owen’s Park at 7pm and an after party will be held in the SU until 2am.
You can see the Facebook event here