Get your diaries out - we're finally ready to announce the full line up of events for Reclaim the Night 2013 - and the launch of the Listen Up! campaign
This year our campaign message is:
Oxford Reclaim the Night believes that:
All women at all times have the right to be safe from all forms of violence
It is always the perpetrator who is to blame, never the victim
It is a community-wide responsibility to make Oxford a safe place, where women and girls:
can walk the streets at any time in any situation and not be at risk of rape;
can feel supported to speak about violence and rape, and expect to be believed;
know they have the right to be themselves, to make choices about their own lives, and need not fear pressure to be or do or say anything that they do not want to.
Oxfordshire is not currently a guaranteed safe place for women and girls:
Last year 111 rapes were reported - but only around 10% of rapes were reported to the police;
Oxford is home to a lapdancing club which normalises sexual exploitation of women by men for profit, and brings increased harassment for women in the local area;
Meanwhile in the UK:
I in 5 women experience a sexual offence in her lifetime
400,000 women are victim of a sexual offence every year
69,000 women are raped every year
90% of victims know their perpetrator
15% report to the police
But Oxfordshire Reclaim the Night also believes that women and men can together make Oxfordshire a safer space for women by learning to listen to one another - really listen, so that women and girls can trust that they will be heard when they speak out.
We all have a responsibility to create safe spaces for women who have experienced any form of sexual violence to be heard, listened to and believed.
All too often myths around sexual violence – regularly perpetuated by the media and society at large - prevent survivors from accessing the support theyneed and enable perpetrators to continue to act with impunity.
We want to create spaces that enable myths to be challenged, support survivors and end a culture that tolerates violence against women and girls.
This year Reclaim the Night will be marching to reclaim our right to be safe - whatever we wear and wherever we go - but we'll also be distributing helpful info cards about safer spaces and active listening, getting the message out that it is up to all in the community to help create safe spaces.
Februay 21 Listen Up! and Reclaim the Night launch gig, Port Mahon, 8-11pm https://www.facebook.com/events/423337877740929/
February 25 Feminist film night - venue to be confirmed (watch this space!)
March 2 stall and street theatre, Cornmarket, 12-2pm (women join us - email email@example.com)
March 8 Reclaim the Night march & Rally 2013 https://www.facebook.com/events/121100868068030/
6.30pm - Women's march from Cowley Rd (corner of Magdalen Rd), East Oxford, for all self-identifying women.
7-9.30pm - Women & Men celebrate at the Town Hall with Oxford International Women's Festival and Oxford Young Women's Music Project.
For any more information, to help us distribute flyers and leaflets, or to volunteer as a steward, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org