Melbourne reclaims the night

Up to 1000 people rallied in Melbourne to Reclaim the Night on October 19. Photo: Reclaim the Night Melbourne 2013/FB.

Women and men took to the street in Brunswick for Melbourne's Reclaim the Night rally and march on October 19, to demand an end to victim blaming and violence against women.

Speakers included Yorta Yorta woman Monica Morgan, chairperson of Elizabeth Hoffman House, Poppy Jacob from Hollaback Melbourne, an organisation dedicated to ending the street harassment of women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer individuals, Rose Ljubicic from the Council of Single Mothers and their Children, and Jane Green, a sex worker activist from the Vixen Collective.

Estimates of the crowd ranged from over 500 to up to 1000 participants.

The 2013 organising collective adopted a range of demands for the rally, including calling on state and federal governments to stop funding cuts to essential community services (particularly in regional areas), such as women’s shelters and sexual assault programs, Legal Aid and community legal centres, and gender sensitive community awareness programs, and for increased funding to meet growing demand.

Other demands included that governments cease their pursuit of law and order measures such as CCTV and work with the community for solutions that will ensure safer public spaces for all, such as street lighting and late night public transport.