The annual Reclaim the Night march to stop violence against women will be held in Wollongong on Thursday October 26, starting from Andrew Lysaght Park, and concluding at the Flagstaff Point light house.
The Reclaim the Night march is a global movement that originated in the 70s, initially aimed at fighting for women’s right to walk safely at night, and now having a broad focus on promoting safety and equality. The march is traditionally held in October, Sexual Violence Awareness Month.
Reclaim the Night committee member Naomi Thomson said the event is held to raise awareness that domestic violence does happen within the Wollongong community and to take a stand against it.
“Hopefully the march will empower the generation to come to bring change,” Ms Thomson said.
“There will be a bit of history and lots of different bands and artists coming.”
Ms Thomson also said that an important part of the march is a candle memorial to remember those who have lost their lives to domestic violence this year.
Wollongong City Greens Councillor Cath Blakey, who has previously attended the march, recognised its importance to not only women, but everyone from the Wollongong area.
“Women, non-binary people, anyone, should be able to walk around the town and should have that freedom of movement,” Clr Blakey said.
Blakey also said that the march is about empowering survivors, and emphasises the importance of community support and recognising those who shouldn’t be suffering in silence.
“People have felt shame when there’s an incident, and it’s not their shame to carry,” she said.
“Sometimes we can feel isolated and that we face these struggles on our own, but when we come together at a Reclaim the Night event it shows that we’re not alone.”
Attendees are encouraged to wear something purple to further support safety and equality. The event will be live-streamed for individuals who are unable to attend the walk in Wollongong.
To learn more about the Reclaim the Night march visit the official Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/RTNIllawarra/.