Reclaim The Night is an annual event held to protest all forms of violence against women.
This year’s RTN rallies were held against a backdrop of rising student activism following the release of the Human Rights Commission report on campus sexual assault, the defunding and outsourcing of women-centred rape crisis services and specialised women’s refuges, and the worldwide #MeToo social media campaign that exposed the prevalence of sexual harassment.
In Sydney, 300 people rallied in Hyde Park and then marched under the banner, “Loud and unapologetic”, on October 27. The event was organised by a collective of mainly women students.
In Brisbane, around 100 people gathered that same day at Queens Park before marching through the city. The march concluded a month of sexual assault awareness-raising events organised under the theme “Consent”.
In Canberra, a crowd of 200 women and their allies gathered in Garema Place on October 27 to hear a range of speakers including a rape crisis centre worker and ABC TV journalist Virginia Housegger.
The rally included a number of union banners, including from Community Public Sector Union, Australian Education Union, United Voice, Australian Services Union and the National Tertiary Education Union.
Rallies and marches were also held in Wollongong on October 26, Perth and Newcastle on October 27 and Ballarat on November 3. A march is planned for Geelong on November 11.