We spoke to women marching to Reclaim the Night

“Whatever we wear, wherever we go, yes means yes, no means no.”

Last Friday evening, women gathered in front of Sheffield Cathedral to begin this year’s Reclaim the Night March. The march, organised by Women’s Committee as part of their 16 Days Against Gendered Violence, protested against the fear of harassment that many women feel when walking home alone.

Reclaim the Night originated in the 1970s when police told women to stay indoors after dark to avoid being attacked by the Yorkshire Ripper. Marches now take place every year across the country to protest against this victim blaming rhetoric and empower women to feel safer on the streets of their city. We spoke to Sheffield students at this year’s march.

Sadie, Sociology, First Year

“I’m here tonight because I’ve experienced sexism on nights out and sometimes I don’t feel safe, and I’d rather that I did and I think that this is the best way to go about it”.

Molly, French and English, Second Year

“I’m marching because I don’t like how once it gets dark me and most of my female friends feel uncomfortable walking around the streets, even in busy areas. You feel like you need to look over your shoulder all the time, especially now that it gets dark so early, so even coming back from uni means walking back and not feeling safe. I don’t think that people should be made to feel that way”.

Annie, Sociology, First Year

“I am marching tonight because I would like to be able to walk home when it gets dark without being in fear”.

Eleanor, Philosophy, Masters student

“I’m marching tonight because everyone should be able to walk the streets of Sheffield safely and victim blaming is completely wrong. We should be way past this point right now”.

Megan, Health and Human Sciences, Third Year

“I’m marching because I feel like being harassed on a night out or while you’re just walking the street is just seen as part of being a woman and I’m here tonight to say that we won’t stand for it and things need to change”.

Michael, Philosophy, Masters student

“I’m marching tonight because I believe that women should feel safe when walking home at night and I’ve felt unsafe myself personally”.

Albany, French and English, Second Year

“I’m marching because I don’t like the fact that I have to be scared of walking home on my own, not like men. I want to be empowered enough to walk home without being scared”.

Emily, History and Politics, First Year

“I’m marching tonight because women shouldn’t have to feel unsafe whilst walking home at night”.

Heather, History, First Year

“Women shouldn’t have to be wary of harassment on a night out”.

Katy, History, First Year

“I’m marching tonight because I feel safe, but whenever women don’t I’m marching in solidarity with them”

Helen, History and Politics, First Year

“I’m marching in solidarity with all women and because it’s not fair that women should feel unsafe”.