Women reclaim the night

Issue 

Women reclaim the night

By Pip Hinman

In marches of around 2000 in both Melbourne and Sydney, women reclaimed the night on October 25. Mothers and their young daughters, high school students, older and migrant women participated in one of the largest women's mobilisations in recent times.

The Sydney marchers wound their way through Kings Cross chanting, "We demand the right to walk the streets at night without the fear of rape".

The daily threat of physical and sexual violence to women in their public and private lives is not tolerable, said a spokesperson for the Reclaim the Night Planning Group in Melbourne. Women have a right to be able to live their lives — both public and private — without fear of harassment, attack or rape.

Statistics show that one in 10 women will be raped in their lifetime, women comprise 93% of sexual assault victims, and 80% of them will know the perpetrator.

Victorian Premier Joan Kirner told the Melbourne rally that her government was proud of its record on women's issues.

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