Hundreds of women took to the streets of Nottingham this weekend to campaign for safer streets as part of the Reclaim the Night campaign. But who inspires them in their fight?
Nearly three-quarters (71%) of women of all ages in the UK have experienced some form of sexual harassment in a public space.
Reclaim the Night took place on Saturday, November 27, and saw hundreds of women march through the city.
Campaigners also marched to support the women who inspire us across Nottingham and other incredible women around the world.
Reby, 36, spoke about Woman’s Hour and BBC Newsnight presenter Emma Barnett, who also attended the University of Nottingham, being a true inspiration.
“I find her insights on period poverty and menstrual health really inspiring,” said Reby.
“She’s one of the women I find asking really difficult questions about women’s health and is really fighting for the equity vs equality women.”
Another marcher spoke about her colleague Claire Litman, from Women’s Aid: “She helps me to be able to recognise what’s important as a woman and helps me feel confidence in myself.”
Many people mentioned the Women’s Centre and Women’s Aid in Nottingham as groups who inspire them by their incredible work.
The Women’s Centre offers help and guidance, counselling services, and courses and activities to help women update and improve their skills.
Nottingham Women’s Aid aims to support people who are suffering from domestic abuse.
The march ended outside Dryden Building at Nottingham Trent University with multiple speakers speaking bravely about their experiences with sexual assault and harassment from men.
Many of the women spoke about being inspired by their fellow survivors as they carry on fighting for themselves and one another.
One speaker spoke about her experience of sexual assault and harassment while her 13-year-old daughter was in the crowd.
Women of all ages were also on the march to express strength and unity.
Inspiring others is extremely important to make more people want to speak up about their experiences and help support one another, according to campaigners.
The more people that feel they can report their experiences – hopefully more can be done to help women feel safer, they argue.
Reclaim the Night first started in the UK in 1977 in Leeds when women marched to protest the police requesting women to stay at home after dark in response to the murders of 13 women by Peter Sutcliffe.
However, women still face harassment and violence daily and many will continue to march until they can feel safe at night.
Readers affected by the issues raised in this piece can contact Women’s Aid at 01909 533610 or the Women’s Centre at 0115 9411475.