Reclaim the Night Leeds: An introduction
A group of women in Leeds are planning a Reclaim the Night March for Saturday 16th November 2013. A Reclaim the Night March is direct action by women to reclaim the streets and assert our right to feel free from fear of rape and sexual violence. The march will take women on a route around the city centre to reclaim places where women feel vulnerable from attack; the last stage of the march will be open to all. There will be a rally, which will be open to all our supporters.
Why are we reclaiming the night in Leeds?
Research suggests that as few as 10% of rape and sexual assaults are reported to the police. Of these few only around 8% result in a conviction. Evidence suggests this may be because there is a general sense that a woman is partly responsible if she is out alone, had a drink or dressed provocatively. We assert our right, as women, to challenge and feel free from the fear of rape and sexual violence wherever we are, by reclaiming areas around Leeds where women feel vulnerable from attack.
Our objectives are:
a. To raise awareness and understanding of rape and sexual violence committed against women and girls. This will include exploding myths around rape and sexual violence and challenging public attitudes towards rape and sexual violence as symbolised by the low rape conviction rate;
b. By publicising the prevalence and effects of rape and sexual violence, provide a platform for campaigning for improved services in the Leeds area, thus striving to make safer and sustainable communities;
c. To build partnerships with national and Leeds based organisations and ensure Reclaim the Night Leeds is citywide;
d. To encourage and promote the participation of all women and work towards encompassing their diversity.
Articles like this show the battle is still to be won in challenging perceptions of rape