Last week, Her Campus at Manchester talked to students about why they think Reclaim the Night is needed. For those of you only just tuning in, Reclaim the Night is a national campaign protesting street harassment, sexual violence against women and victim blaming. The annual march will take place on February 21st here in Manchester.
This year, Reclaim the Night Manchester are calling for Manchester City Council to improve street lighting and increase police presence in student areas, as well as asking to stop the cuts to women’s shelters, while also increasing support and funding for victim support services. They are also asking for increased awareness of where victims can report crimes. There is more information on the Facebook event, as well as the Reclaim the Night website.
This is what Manchester students said when we asked them why they need Reclaim the Night.
“You just wouldn’t walk in the night by yourself. You just wouldn’t.”
“Women need to show we’re stronger. To come together and be a huge movement.”
“Because women should feel safe and comfortable and be able to walk on their own without other people.”
Kirstie, English Literature and French
“It is needed but it shouldn’t be needed. Women have been fighting for life and we’re barely there. It’s an important push.”
Gina, Bio-Medical Science
“We shouldn’t be calling for safer streets, they should be safe already. It’s a right of life to feel safe where you live.”
Olivia, Coppafeel Manchester
“We think Reclaim the Night is needed because men and women are affected by all the issues that we see in the news everyday. Particularly in Manchester; the rapes, the muggings, sexual assault. It’s just not on. We fully support it – getting the university, the police and the council fully involved in trying to keep everybody safe. So, go Reclaim the Night!”
“I think it’s needed because we should be able to walk with the same confidence boys do at night. We should not be scared like, walking at night I hold my keys in my hand so I’ll always have protection. I think it’s good that we should not walk in fear.”
“I’d say it’s an important step in encouraging women and others to come together and stand up to misogyny; sexual assault is unfortunately far too common in Fallowfield. It also helps make women feel safer I imagine, as they have a real demonstration of how many their numbers are.”
[Entries have been edited for length and clarity]
These are the voices of the students of Manchester and show how important they believe women’s safety is, highlighting the impact Reclaim the Night has had. While some people believe it is incredibly powerful and important, others wish it was no longer necessary.
Here at HC Manchester, we fully support any movement fighting for the rights and safety of women. We’ll be at the march on Thursday, reporting live on Instagram and waving our signs high. We hope to see you there!