Women urged to reclaim the night

A group of women are urging Bendigo residents to “reclaim the night” and stand up for women’s right to access a city free from harassment and violence.

Inspired by Jill Meagher, the march is being held on Friday, October 26 at 7pm. Organiser Claire Flanagan-Smith said she decided to hold the Bendigo event because she could not attend the recent peace march in Sydney Road, Brunswick.

“So many of us have moved from Melbourne to Bendigo and it’s said over and over again, she could have been one of us. So instead of just getting upset and frustrated about it, and some of the media coverage, we thought we’d have a march to say ‘we will go out at night’.

“We want to foster a culture of a safe city and a culture of looking after each other.

“Any society where women aren’t free to walk the streets at night is not a society anyone wants to live in.”

Bryley Drummond used to live just round the corner from Jill Meagher. “It really resonated with me, as it did a lot of people, that it should be safe to walk home, that people shouldn’t be afraid,” she said.

Fellow marcher Karen Corr said the event was about taking a stand against that fear.

“It’s our way of saying it’s not okay to have this fear and not be safe in our streets.”

The march will start outside the Old Fire Station theatre on View Street before wending it’s way to the Bendigo Town Hall. For more information about the event go to the Reclaim the Night Bendigo Facebook page.

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