@ewansomerville@OliveLineham

A Sheffield Students’ Union officer has voiced her “terror” at “being harassed”, “spat” at and mocked at the ‘Reclaim the Night’ protest.

Hundreds of students and members of the public marched through Sheffield’s streets last night for the annual protest against gendered violence.

Organised by the Women’s Committee and SU Women’s Officer, Mayeda Tayeeb, this year’s protest focused on increased street lighting, the improvement of support services for survivors of sexual assault and a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to sexual harassment in all spaces.

But today, Education Officer Anna Crump Raiswell hit out at being “laughed and jeered at” on the march from Sheffield Cathedral to the SU, claiming men “spat” at them from balconies and “told [us] with such joy in their voices to ‘get our fannies out’ and to ‘get your tits out love’.

‘I hoped it would end so we could get back to safety’

Anna Crump Raiswell, Education Officer at Sheffield Students’ Union. Picture: Sheffield SU

“The atmosphere as we set off was electric, filled with promise of a night of sisterhood solidarity,” she said in a post on Facebook, which was shared by Welfare Officer Katharine Swindells.

“We were told with such joy in their voices to ‘get our fannies out’ and to ‘get your tits out love”

“However, the feelings of power were quick to dissipate. And were replaced by terror, and by the hope that the march would end soon so we could get back to safety,” Ms Crump Raiswell added.

“What particularly upset me was a man, who was with his teenage daughter, laughing and pointing at us. What kind of world do you want your daughter to grow up in?”

Powerful speeches, powerful placards

Hundreds of self-identifying women turned out in force to march through Sheffield’s streets. Credit: Olive Enokido-Lineham

The evening kicked off with a march starting from Sheffield’s Cathedral led by female members of the Samba Band Society, and an array of powerful speeches from students and spoken word poetry.

Speaking to the crowds last night, Lilian Jones, President of Sheffield Students’ Union, said: “We are sending a message that women are still fighting for so many things. Equality benefits everyone.”

“we are met with such abhorrent abuse for simply marching through the streets of the city we call home, demanding a safer life”

Students from Hallam and Uni of Sheffield who self-identify as women joined the all-women SU Officer team  in marching down West Street before finally arriving at the Student’s Union, chanting and holding placards with slogans like ‘it’s a dress, not a yes’.

https://twitter.com/kay___tea/status/1066686132627390464

In her post, Education Officer Crump Raiswell went on to say she “can’t cope” with “being harassed and made to feel unsafe” while marching against just that behaviour.

She asked, “When we are met with such abhorrent abuse for simply marching through the streets of the city we call home, demanding a safer life, is surprising that 1.2 million women suffered domestic abuse in 2017? Or that 2 women are killed by their partner every week?”

Hallam and Uni of in solidarity for one cause

The all-women Sheffield SU officer team pictured at the march. Credit: @SheffieldSU on Twitter

The topics mentioned centred around misogyny, misogynoir, domestic violence against women and the global #MeToo campaign.

Natalia Ragnhild, Chair of the Women’s Committee, stated that ‘Reclaim the Night’ was about “women taking back the space we need for ourselves”.

She added: “The physical space we reclaim by marching through the streets and the emotional space we create where our voices can be heard.”.

While the rally focused on sexual violence against women, participants of all genders were welcomed and encouraged to take part.

Gabby Willis, President of Sheffield Hallam’s Women Committee stated the demands raised “are issues that concern everybody and so the world must be safer for women.”

 

Education Officer Anna Crump Raiswell’s facebook post.

The event was supported by a number of societies including FemSoc and Burlesque Society. Participants took to Twitter to demonstrate solidarity in an end to gendered violence using #ReclaimTheNight.

It chimes with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, on Sunday and is part of the SU’s ‘16 Days Against Gendered Violence’ Campaign.

@ewansomerville

@OliveLineham

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