Ipswich unites to end 'ongoing, systemic issue' of violence against women

The Reclaim the Night event saw around 100 people come out to make a stand against violence.

The Reclaim the Night event saw around 100 people come out to make a stand against violence. - Credit: Charlotte Mclaughlin

Women in Suffolk and Ipswich say they do not feel safe at home or on the streets as they joined campaigners to make their voices heard on gendered violence.

Around 100 people of all genders and ages joined in the Reclaim the Night march on Thursday night and made their way through the town centre.

Isabelle Booth, helpline and volunteer co-ordinator at Suffolk Rape Crisis, and organiser of Reclaim The Night Ipswich has expanded why the conversation around violence against women is so vital.

The Reclaim the Night event saw around 100 people come out to make a stand against violence.

The Reclaim the Night event saw around 100 people come out to make a stand against violence. - Credit: Charlotte McLaughlin

Ms Booth added: "This year has highlighted that sexual violence towards women is an ongoing, systemic issue.

"We have seen that women are not safe on the streets, we have seen that women are not safe in their homes, and that men’s violence has escalated to seemingly ‘new forms’, such as injecting women."

Suffolk has seen more than 30 reports in November of spiking and the news that there have been no charges for this crime in six years

The Reclaim the Night event saw around 100 people come out to make a stand against violence.

The Reclaim the Night event saw around 100 people come out to make a stand against violence. - Credit: Charlotte McLaughlin

A total of 17 cases through 'needle spiking', 15 through drink tampering, and one by an unknown method was reported to Suffolk police during the month of November.  

But violence is not just found in the streets as women's lived experience shows it is usually people women know that are the ones that hurt them the most. 

The Reclaim the Night event saw around 100 people come out to make a stand against violence.

Charlie Wedlow was at the Reclaim the Night event, which saw around 100 people come out to make a stand against violence. - Credit: Charlotte McLaughlin

The Reclaim the Night event saw around 100 people come out to make a stand against violence.

The Reclaim the Night event saw around 100 people come out to make a stand against violence. - Credit: Charlotte Mclaughlin

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The Centre For Women’s Justice in April 2021 that 99.7% of its 22,000 respondents had experienced repeated sexual violence since birth and it happens in 90 to 92% of cases by someone known to the women. 

Isabelle Booth is the helpline and volunteer co-ordinator for Suffolk Rape Crisis

Isabelle Booth is the helpline and volunteer co-ordinator for Suffolk Rape Crisis - Credit: Isabelle Booth

Ms Booth added: "Male perpetrators think that they are entitled to women's bodies and do not have an understanding of consent. 

"It is on men to make changes not women.

"We need to stop victim-blaming in our society.

"This year we need to be making the connections between individual acts of violence towards women, a society that normalises violence against women and the lack of consequences for perpetrators.

"That’s why we will continue to stand together and Reclaim The Night- until survivors receive justice and our society makes a change."

Suffolk's Rape Crisis helpline is open Tuesday and Thursday between 7pm and 9pm on 0800 0850 520 or go here srchelp.org.uk/contact-us.

If you need domestic abuse help call 0800 977 5690 or go here suffolkdahelpline.org.uk

In an emergency call police on 999. 

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