Strathclyde students join protest over sexual violence


Strathclyde Woman’s Action Network joined Glaswegians disgusted about rape and sexual violence in their city at the ‘Reclaim the Night’ march on 25 of November.

Hundreds of women and men walked in solidarity with victims of rape and sexual violence.

The demonstration marked the start of the 16 days of action for the elimination of violence against women campaign, which will end on the international Day of Human Rights on 10 December.

Susan Calman, comedian and patron of Glasgow Rape Crisis Centre said: “We reclaim this night! And we reclaim every night, for every women living in Scotland.”

“We shouldn’t have young people growing up thinking, ‘I need to fight my way out at night.’ Women should be able to go out and do what they like, that is the point of 2015!”

In her speech Calman shared her wish for her niece to “be the most kickass-woman ever, but never need to kick an ass.”

Participants also want to acknowledge the sufferers. Denise Mina, writer and patron of Glasgow Rape Crisis Centre said: “Tonight is about expressing solidarity for survivors and saying we hear you, we are here with you and we celebrate your courage and survival.”

Emma Ritch, Executive Director of Engender, voiced her frustration about George Osborn’s announcement to use the ‘tampon tax’ to pay for violence against women services, saying: “Women who were raped can pay for their own counselling by menstruating, thanks very much, Mister Osborne.”

Ritch illustrated that rape and sexual assault occurs due to women’s discrimination, “The thing that causes rape is women’s inequality.

“We want to see an end to rooms full of straight white non-disabled men who decide for all the rest of us.”

“We want to see an end to female politicians being judged for their shoes and not their views. (..) We want a good live for Scotland’s women, free from the threat of violence, free from violence.”

2015 marks Glasgow Rape Crisis Centre’s 39th anniversary. According to Glasgow Rape Crisis Centre’s statistics, over the last three years the demand for Glasgow’s service increased by about 25% and support and advocacy related calls have increased by around 50%.

Reclaim The Night follows the publication of Rape Crisis Scotland’s annual Social Attitudes Survey, which revealed that “only three in five people in Scotland think a woman is not at all to blame for being raped if she wears revealing clothing (58 per cent) or is very drunk (60 per cent).