The organisers of the Lismore and Byron Bay Reclaim the Night rallies and marches are hoping women will come out in numbers to both events.
Reclaim the Night is an international event that has taken place annually since the 1970s. Originally focusing on the rights of women and children to walk the streets without fear of sexual and physical violence, the message of Reclaim the Night now encompasses a rejection of all forms of violence and aims to engage and empower women and the community at all levels.
‘Events like Reclaim the Night give us the opportunity to reflect on the link between subtle sexist attitudes and stereotypes and the social context in which violence against women continues to be perpetrated,’ said Neroli Jager of the Mullumbimby Women’s Resource Service.
‘One of the first steps towards preventing violence against women is addressing the ways in which women are put down, stereotyped and blamed. Reclaim the Night is about more than safe streets –it’s about safe relationships, safe workplaces and safe homes.’
Reclaim the Night Byron Bay aims to bring together women of all ages in the community to promote a culture of safety and harmony in our streets and public spaces. The event also hopes to raise awareness of the issues of sexual consent, alcohol and drug use, issues with particular relevance in Byron Bay where more than 50 per cent of assaults are flagged by police as being alcohol related.
Organisers also hope to engage young people through a series of workshops for young women at the Byron YAC prior to that march. Activities include a ukulele workshop with Ilona Harker in which young women will learn a song to play during the march; and banner- and flag-making workshops from 4pm to 5.30pm.
A Performing Arts Showcase, which is open to the public, will be held following the march from 7.30pm at the YAC. For more information about workshops contact Nicqui Yazdi on 0402 013 177.
Reclaim the Night will be held in Byron Bay and Lismore on Friday October 26, meeting at 6pm for a 7pm march.
The Byron Bay Reclaim the Night event will gather at Main Beach foreshore with speeches and performances by Mandy Nolan, Li’l Fi, Ilona Harker and more. The Lismore RTN event will commence at the Women’s Resource Centre in Lismore.
For further information contact Neroli Jager on 0457 864 253.