Albany Reclaim the Night march to demand an end to violence against women and children

Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
Reclaim the Night organisers Bronwyn O’Shannessy, Jo Fictoor, Pamela Watts, Jiji Khan, Janet Leamon and Asha Bhat.
Camera IconReclaim the Night organisers Bronwyn O’Shannessy, Jo Fictoor, Pamela Watts, Jiji Khan, Janet Leamon and Asha Bhat. Credit: Sarah Makse/ Albany Advertiser

Albany will Reclaim the Night next week, with a crowd set to march through the heart of town on Friday, October 30, to demand an end to violence against women and children.

The local event will be a ripple in a global wave of action, joining hundreds of protests to stand with survivors of violence against women in all forms.

This year’s theme of “bystander action” will drive home that everyone has the power to put an end to violence against women and children, regardless of whether you have experienced it personally.

Albany Family and Domestic Violence Action Group chairperson Asha Bhat said bystander action could take many forms.

“Bystander action helps stop violence and give victims the confidence to report,” she said.

“It is the action taken by someone who is not directly involved in a situation of abuse, to speak out about, identify, engage, or respond to a case of domestic violence.

“Violence against women is a social issue and preventing it is a shared responsibility across the community, and not just the responsibility of perpetrators or victims.”

Ms Bhat said the region had been in the grip of a domestic and family violence surge, triggered by COVID-19 restrictions.

“People march as a show of resistance, strength and unity,” she said.

“We will stand together to demand the basic human right of safety and the right to take part in society, free from harassment, discrimination and violence.

“Demonstrations like Reclaim the Night, that bring together thousands of people to publicly call for an end to violence against women, are crucial in bringing change.”

Reclaim the Night 2020 will start with speeches at 6.30pm at Albany Town Square before a march along York Street.

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