Reclaim the night in Katoomba

Last Katoomba rally was in 2015: Jenny Gill, convenor, Margaret Spivey from the Coalition against Violence and Abuse, with West Connect outreach workers Kylie Mott and Bronwyn Hall, outside the old library four years ago.
Last Katoomba rally was in 2015: Jenny Gill, convenor, Margaret Spivey from the Coalition against Violence and Abuse, with West Connect outreach workers Kylie Mott and Bronwyn Hall, outside the old library four years ago.

The Blue Mountains will be having another Reclaim the Night march and gathering on October 25. A sub-committee of the Coalition Against Violence and Abuse and committed community members have worked together to organise the event.

"The last Reclaim the Night rally in the Blue Mountains was in 2015. Women are still subjected to violence, in their homes, in the streets and parks and we believe that every woman, young and old has the right to feel safe and to be safe," said Arlia Fleming, from Elizabeth Evatt Community Legal Centre, one of the key organisers of the event.

Reclaim the Night is an annual women's protest, which was first held in Australia in 1978. It developed out of the need for women to challenge all forms of violence perpetrated against them and the culture that permits this violence. The early Reclaim the Night marches fought for a woman's right to walk without fear at night.

A march in the UK

A march in the UK

They made it clear that women should not be restricted or blamed because of men's violence.

In Australia, the first Reclaim the Night marches were held in 1978 in Sydney and Perth. Over the years, although the focus remains on sexual violence, Reclaim the Night has evolved to include other forms of violence against women.

Today people march as a show of resistance, strength and unity.

"We are demanding an end to violence in the home, on the streets, at school and at work," said Ms Fleming. "Violence affects women in all areas of their life, and we are demanding a real response to violence against women in all areas of our lives."

The Reclaim the Night march and event will be held on October 25 with the march starting at 5:30pm at the Old Katoomba Library (81-83 Katoomba Street), marching toward Parke Street, down Katoomba Street and back to the old library for speakers and performers.

Participants are asked to bring noisemakers such as drums and whistles and a flower for a collective vase. Reclaim the Night marches will be held in all states of Australia on and around the same day.