Women ready to Reclaim the Night in Ipswich with march through town centre
PUBLISHED: 19:00 14 November 2019 | UPDATED: 10:58 15 November 2019
Ipswich's Cornhill and town centre will be filled with protestors as hundreds of people march to demand women are safe on the streets after dark.
Returning for a second year after hundreds of supporters marched to end violence against women in Ipswich in 2018, Suffolk Rape Crisis are calling the public to a show of solidarity on November 30, with a march starting on Ipswich's Cornhill.
The sexual violence charity will then lead a procession through the town centre, armed with placards, whistles and glow sticks to fill the night with noise and light.
March organiser and director of Suffolk Rape Crisis, Amy Roch, said: "At this time of year there a lot of campaigns on how women can stay safe at night - they can be unhelpful and are actually blaming the victims of sexual violence.
"Telling women what to wear when they go out at night and how much to drink will not stop women being attacked.
"We want agencies promoting these campaigns to stop focusing on women and start focusing on the people who can stop this, and that is the perpetrators themselves.
"We all need to be working together better if we are going to bring an end to sexual violence."
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The march will move through Westgate Street, Museum Street, Kings Street, past the Corn Exchange and Giles' Grandma Statue, along Buttermarket and Upper Brook Street before returning to the Cornhill.
Suffolk Rape Crisis are targeting the culture of victim blaming with this year's march, hoping to dispel some of the myths surrounding rape.
The march will come in the same month a leaked report from the Cabinet Office revealed almost half of rape victims will drop out of investigations where a perpetrator has been identified.
Ms Roch added: "The more messages out there telling women to take responsibility for sexual violence, that harder it becomes for them to report it.
"It attaches a lot of shame to women that should rest with the perpetrators.
"The women that interact with our service, the vast majority of them know their perpetrator.
"The stereotype of a man jumping out in the street is not the reality of sexual violence for most survivors and is unhelpful."
The march is due to begin at 5.15pm from outside Ipswich Town Hall and Corn Exchange.