October 25, 2021
The annual Reclaim The Night march aims to make an impact, so there was no way it was going to be unnoticed in Kingaroy on Thursday night.
Drummers from St Mary’s Catholic College Drumline set the beat as the marchers chanted their slogan: “We reclaim the right to walk the streets at night!”
The marchers began in the Kingaroy Town Hall forecourt before heading down Glendon Street and circumnavigating the Kingaroy Shoppingworld block.
Reclaim The Night is a protest against sexual violence – particularly against women – and aims to raise awareness in the community.
The first protest march was held in Kingaroy in the late 1990s, with marchers chanting and ringing bells.
The event lapsed after a few outings but was revived several years ago by an enthusiastic committee supported by Centacare Family and Relationship Care.
Thursday night’s march followed a rally in the forecourt which included live music, a sausage sizzle and a panel forum where members of the community shared information about sexual assault, where to get support, how to respond to someone who says they have been sexually assaulted (especially children) and the process of gathering evidence which occurs after an assault is reported to police.
Two courageous survivors of sexual assault – Jo and Noelene – also shared their experiences with the crowd.
Placards carried by the marchers shared some key messages: “No means no”, “Don’t tell me how to dress, tell him not to rape”, “Coercion = rape”
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For support on sexual assault:
- 1800-737-732 – 1800RESPECT
- 1800-010-120 – Domestic Violence Connect
- (07) 4162-5439 – Centacare
- Laurel Place