Hundreds to march through streets of Ayrshire on International Women’s Day in bid to ‘Reclaim the Night’


Hundreds of women are set to march through the streets of Ayr tomorrow evening in a bid to end violence against women and children.

The ‘Reclaim the Night’ rally, organized by the South Ayrshire Violence Against Women Partnership, will start at Ayr Academy and travel through the town center tomorrow from 5.30pm. There will also be events in Kilmarnock and Irvine.

The march was previously postponed back in December due to bad weather and will now take place on International Women’s Day.

Ayr MSP Siobhian Brown, who attended the memorial to murdered Sarah Everard at the Scottish Parliament last Thursday, is urging women across Ayrshire to take part and raise awareness.

Her call comes after sharing that, along with many others, she take precautions when out walking at night.

Ms Brown said: “When women are being told not to go out alone it’s time to say enough is enough.



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“Women should be able to walk the street at night without the fear of facing violence.

“I know women, including myself, who refuse to listen to music at night, who carry their keys in their hands as protection and who wear personal alarms. This must end.

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“Woman and girls must stand together to Reclaim the Night with a show of unity and strength.

“It’s also a time to honor those who no longer have a voice and to challenge the myths around sexual violence. The blame must always lie with the perpetrator.”

Ms Brown said it’s important that men stand with and support women as they march – and to also call out and challenge misogynistic and sexist behavior among their friends.

She added: “It was heartening to see how many people turned out to Sarah’s memorial at parliament on Thursday. A young life, taken too soon in such horrific circumstances, but she shines on as a beacon of hope.

“We must never forget her but we can change things in her name. My thoughts are with her family and friends of her.

“I would urge anyone experiencing any kind of violence to seek help and to everyone else please look out for the signs that could potentially save a life.”

The Reclaim the Night rally is open to all and officers from Police Scotland will be in attendance.

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The route will be: Ayr Academy – University Avenue, Craigie Way, Craigie Avenue, John Street, Ayr Police Office, Main Street, A719 – Over Old Brig, Sandgate, Boswell Park, Gaiety Theatre, Wallace Tower, High Street, Kyle Street, Central Arcade, Smith Street , Under Bridge – Mill Street, Fire Station, Craigie Road through lane at woods on University Avenue, returning to Ayr Academy.

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• To find out more about the South Ayrshire Violence Against Women Partnership, including where to get help and support, visit: https://archive.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/vaw/

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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