Wollongong led the way last year as thousands of people marched in major cities around the country to end violence against women.
Wollongong’s Reclaim the Night rally in 2015 saw more than 500 Illawarra residents march through the city’s streets to protest against gender-based violence and sexual harassment.
This figure was twice the number that attended the Melbourne equivalent, but organisers haven’t let up on their campaign to highlight the increasing levels of violence against women.
The Illawarra Reclaim the Night Committee is hoping for an even bigger turnout at this year’s rally on Thursday, October 27.
The Wollongong Reclaim the Night event will kick off at 5.30pm in the Arts Precinct on Burelli Street.
The march will leave the precinct and wind its way up Crown Street to the amphitheatre where there will be entertainment and a candle ceremony to honour women in Australia who have lost their lives through violence this year.
Reclaim the Night is a worldwide campaign to stop sexual violence against women.
Wollongong lord mayor Gordon Bradbery said at present there are about one in five women who will experience sexual assault in their lifetime.
Cr Bradbery said ‘’any form of violence against any one is not on, at any time or any place’’. ‘’On this night we are standing against violence directed toward women. It’s not on,’’ he said.
On this night we are standing against violence directed toward women. It’s not on.Wollongong lord mayor Gordon Bradbery
‘’I encourage all people to join in Reclaim the Night and do just that: reclaim these spaces so that our city is safe for women and not only just in public spaces, but women should also be free from harassment online, in their homes and in their workplaces.’’
A Illawarra Reclaim the Night Committee spokeswoman added the event will also include guest speakers and personal stories of survival. At last year’s rally the Hon Linda Burney MP, said domestic violence was now a ‘’national crisis’’.
People are encouraged to wear purple and the lighthouse will again be lit up purple on the night.