Renfrewshire Council

Reclaim the Night march 2017

Campaigners march to the beat of their own drum

Paisley High Street resonated with the sound of drums last night as hundreds of supporters took part in a walk of solidarity in support of a national campaign against violence.

'Reclaim the Night' - a march co-ordinated by local women's rights group, Renfrewshire Rising and supported by the Council's 'Women and Children First' team - demonstrated local support from the community for a women's right to be free of violence and abuse.

Campaigners assembled outside the University of West of Scotland before Renfrewshire's Provost, Lorraine Cameron helped lead the procession down Paisley High into Dunn Square, where speeches were made in recognition of the cause.

A wreath of white ribbons was laid at the Sir William Dun memorial before a two minute silence was observed in memory of women who have lost their lives due to violence.

The candle lit march then made its way down to Paisley Abbey where supporters gathered together for speeches, music and poetry readings.

Reclaim the Night kicked-off Renfrewshire's participation in the international '16 Days of Action' campaign for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The theme for this year is 'March to the Beat of Your Own Drum' which sees women and supporting agencies join forces to educate and inform the public about gender-based violence.

Provost Cameron said: "Renfrewshire Council is continuing to work to develop the area as a safe place to live and work in.

"Our participation in the 16 Days of Action campaign brings the issue of violence against women  into the public eye and we must ensure people recognise that any kind of violence is unacceptable.

"It's been fantastic to see the number of people who have come out tonight to support the cause. We are reinforcing the message to everyone that gender-based assault will not be tolerated.

She added : "Everyone has the right to be safe in their own community at any time of day or night and to be able to live their lives without fear.

"The recent #MeToo social media phenomenon and the widely publicised outpouring of sexual assault allegations only emphasise the fact that events like this are important. "

Anyone suffering from domestic violence can get help via two national helplines, which are available 24/7 and are free to call from a landline.

Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline - 0800 027 1234

Abused Men in Scotland Helpline - 0808 800 0024

Locally, Women and Children First can be contacted on 0300 300 0345

 Published 29/11/17