Campaigning for an end to street harassment

‘Reclaim the Night’ (RTN) returns to Liverpool on Friday 28th March.

Liverpool’s first Reclaim the Night march took place last May in the city centre with over 100 people taking to the streets to campaign for an end to Violence Against Women in all its forms.

This year’s Reclaim the Night will will focus on ending the everyday harassment that women face on the street. In a study by stopstreetharassment.com, virtually all respondents (95%) had been subjected to unwanted leering; honking or whistling and a large proportion had been groped or grabbed in public. The National Union of Students, Hidden Marks report found that women students had experienced unwanted kissing, touching or molesting during their time as a student.

Whilst many women have experienced this type of harassment, incidents are frequently dismissed and trivialised. The aim of the march is to emphasise that street harassment is a serious issue and is completely unacceptable.

Grace Edwards, RTN Liverpool Communications Officer said: “Reclaim the Night is a chance for women and girls to stand up against street harassment that often pervades our lives. It’s not fair, and we shouldn’t have to put up with it.”

Chair of RTN Liverpool, Councillor Rachael O’Byrne added: “Women have the right to live without the fear of harassment or violence wherever they go or whatever they are wearing.

“Whilst Liverpool has Purple Flag status, which demonstrates it is one of the safest cities in Europe, this event is about challenging a culture which dismisses harassment as a compliment or a bit of fun, rather than it being intimidating and aggressive.

“We hope that people of all genders will come out, support this event and stand up against street harassment in all its manifestations.”

The meeting point for all self-defining women wanting to join the march is outside Liverpool Town Hall (junction of Dale Street/Castle Street) at 7pm. The march will then lead up through the city centre, with a meeting point for others at St Luke’s (the Bombed Out Church) at 7.30pm; then onwards to Maryland Street, for a rally in John Moores Students’ Union. The rally will have a line-up of all women speakers, performance poets and DJs for everyone involved in the march.