Reclaim the Night: Students’ Union Stand Up Against On-Street Violence

21 Nov 2023
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On Tuesday 21 November from 6.00pm, starting outside the Students’ Union building, Lincoln Students’ Union (SU) will lead the University of Lincoln community in a Reclaim the Night march.

With the Student Leaders team from the Lincoln SU at the forefront, the march aims to give students, staff and members of the public the space to demonstrate against on-street violence and show solidarity with those who have been affected by it.

The march is part of a wider White Ribbon Campaign and encourages everyone to show their support at a time when people continue to feel less safe walking alone after dark*.

Zuzanna Romanska, Vice President of Wellbeing and Community at Lincoln SU, said: “I’m sure many of you feel tired. Tired of constantly worrying about which way, with whom, what time, and how fast you can get back home every night. You may think marches like Reclaim the Night are pointless, and I wouldn’t blame you. But if there’s one word I want you to remember, it is persistence.

“We must nurture it, every time our safety becomes devalued or ignored. And if it takes us each year to march, shouting the same words, expressing the same frustrations, until we can shout no more, so be it. Because it is persistence in fighting for our rights that will one day take us to safety for not only some but for all. We owe it to ourselves, and those who can no longer march with us.”

With Lincolnshire Police reporting 467 violence and sexual offences cases across the city of Lincoln in August 2023 alone, the SU points to the fact that on-street safety is an issue of increasing importance and they want to give everyone an opportunity to stand in solidarity.

Carrie Green, Deputy Head of Student Wellbeing at the University, said: “Reclaim the Night highlights the crucial issue of women’s safety on the streets and the importance of our right to walk alone without fear of sexual violence and harassment. We are proud and honoured to stand amongst and with our students by joining them in this protest.

“Sexual violence can happen to anyone at any time, and not just at night. By joining together in this way, we can make a crucial stand – we are not invisible, we should not have to limit our lives because of the behaviour of others, we have the right to feel safe and the right to support.

“Student Wellbeing has a specialist Sexual and Domestic Abuse team which offers support to any student who has experienced any form of sexual misconduct, domestic abuse or stalking/harassment at any time, however long ago. The message we would like to convey through the march is ‘We are here for you, we believe you, and we offer a safe space for you to start to take control back.’”

White Ribbon is the UK’s leading charity engaging men and boys to end violence against women and girls. Their annual campaign, which the Reclaim the Night march is a part of, encourages individuals and organisations to make consistent choices and actions to #ChangeTheStory for women and girls, so that they may live their lives free from the fear of violence.