I was in London on Saturday night and saw this Women’s march in Trafalgar Square. It was about women against violence (rape and domestic violence).
As I agreed with them, having experienced some ‘domestic violence myself’ which involved the police (he was turfed out) and the fact that women are fed up with being unable to walk freely at night without fear of attack or rape, particularly in certain areas of London, I joined them.
Why the hell should we fill fear because of certain men? I took some videos which will uploaded in due course. I also joined their meeting at the Friends Meeting House in Euston.
I was very surprised that there are 47,000 rapes in the UK. I was also in agreement that there weren’t enough refuges in the community. I remember the nearest one to me, according to the police, was Margate, miles from where I was! I ended up being holed up in a local hotel and had some peace and quiet for that night, but it was very expensive. I remember not having anywhere else to go at the time.
It was very good march.
Here’s some info from the Feminist website:-
“A report by New Philanthropy Capital warns that violence against women is costing British society £40bn a year, but charities which help victims are grossly underfunded. NPC’s report concluded that the expense to public services, lost economic output and knock-on effects of violence against women in all its forms costs the country more than the annual defence budget.
Why Reclaim the Night?
According to the British Crime Survey (2001) there are an estimated 47,000 rapes every year, around 40,000 attempted rapes and over 300,000 sexual assaults. Yet our conviction rate is the lowest it has ever been, one of the lowest in Europe , at only 5.3%. This means that more rapists were convicted in the 1970s when Reclaim The Night marches first started than they are now. Did you know that the maximum sentence possible for rape is life imprisonment? Probably not, because rarely are rapists even reported or convicted, let alone with a realistic sentence. This situation has to change.
We march to demand justice for rape survivors.
A survey by the young women’s magazine More in 2005 found that 95% of women don’t feel safe on the streets at night, and 65% don’t even feel safe during the day. 73% worry about being raped and almost half say they sometimes don’t want to go out because they fear for their own safety.
In every sphere of life we negotiate the threat or reality of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment. We cannot claim equal citizenship while this threat restricts our lives as it does. We demand the right to use public space without fear. We demand this right as a civil liberty, we demand this as a human right.
The Reclaim The Night march gives women a voice and a chance to reclaim the streets at night on a safe and empowering event. We aim to put the issue of our safety on the agenda for this and every night and day”.
At the end of the day, we were given some free personal alarms (much better than the free make up bags we get in women’s mags!), free key torch and even a free Transport for London Cycle rucksack. I will hand out some of these personal alarms to my colleagues who cycle alone at night. I also gave one to J who was mugged in London! (yes, why can’t they be used for men too!). J laughed and said his need for a personal alarm was greater than mine (me being in Kent) and him living in dodgy Leystonstone (a woman glared at him when he said this!).