Today – Friday 30 October – is Reclaim the Night and, while it looks different this year, a COVIDSafe initiative is set to bring awareness to the global protest for all women and their right to be free from sexual violence and abuse.
The Newcastle Domestic Violence Committee and the Lake Macquarie Domestic Violence Committee have made the difficult decision to cancel their usual events.
Typically, domestic violence committees around the region would host a Reclaim the Night march but, this year, they have partnered with local schools and organisations to spread the message.
Tonight, students from these schools and people within the community will show their support by flooding social media with photos of purple glow sticks, candles or torches using the hashtag #reclaimthenight.
It’s a fight women have faced for decades.
The statistics around violence against women are shocking.
Those who have survived acts of violence are at an increased risk of suffering from depression and anxiety or experiencing homelessness and financial strain.
The first Reclaim the Night march was held in Belgium in March 1976 by the women attending the International Tribunal on Crimes against Women.
They marched together holding candles to protest the ways in which violence permeates the lives of women worldwide.
Join the community to help spread the message by posting your own #reclaimthenight selfie with a candle, torch or purple glow stick this evening.
Organisers hope the initiative helps them achieve their vision of bringing together the community and creating a unified voice to fight domestic and sexual violence against women.