UoB Marches to Reclaim The Night | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

UoB Marches to Reclaim The Night

On Tuesday 6th February, a large crowd of campaigners marched through the snow around the University of Birmingham’s campus to say no to sexual violence, street harassment, and victim blaming.


The campaign against sexual violence, ‘Reclaim the Night’, started in 2004 and is an annual national march ‘standing against all forms of male violence against women’. This year, it came to Brum for the first time.

The evening began at the Mermaid Square at 6:30pm, with various speakers delivering short speeches. There were three main attendees - firstly, WANBA (the university’s Women and Non-Binary students’ Association), which represents all women and non-binary people on campus. WANBA is an activist association which partakes in protests, creative workshops, and intersectionality awareness events. They also hold weekly tea and coffee events and organise campaigns which directly affect the lives of their members, aiming to work with the wider feminist community in Birmingham.

'Sexual harassment doesn’t just affect women as it affects everybody'

Secondly, the University’s ‘Not On’ campaign had one of its ambassadors speak at the rally. The campaign works to combat sexual harassment both on and off campus, raises awareness of the issues, and aims to provide a ‘deeper understanding’ of consent.

Also, a representative from RSVP (Rape and Sexual Violence Project) attended, and spoke about the work they do as an organisation - setting out to provide confidential services to people of all genders who have been affected by sexual violence and abuse.

The march commenced after the speeches at 7:15pm, which entailed chants such as ‘2,4,6,8, stop the violence, stop the rape’ and ‘Feminists unite, reclaim the night’, and several banners and signs filled the campus paths.

Reclaim the Night 3


Marchers returned to Joe’s Bar on campus at 8pm, with an evening of live music lined up. Performers included singer and songwriter Hannah Pawson, who is particularly focused on Americana/folk music and part of the band Rainy Day Woman. The Uptone Girls, an all-girls acapella group from the University of Birmingham, also performed. A DJ set performed by Yasmin Ibison closed the evening of entertainment.

Redbrick spoke to a ‘Not On’ ambassador who attended the event, and who stated that one of ‘Not On’s main aims is to highlight the ‘bad stigma’ of sexual harassment happening at night, as this is not the only time when it takes place. The idea that sexual harassment can happen anywhere, at any time, to anyone, is something ‘Not On’ ‘touch upon in [their] workshops’, and is thus where they aim to inform and support victims. Another ‘Not On’ ambassador stated that it is important to recognise ‘that sexual harassment doesn’t just affect women as it affects everybody, and so tonight was another reason why we wanted to be here as a ‘Not On’ campaign, to highlight that sexual harassment does affect everybody and not just one gender’.

Considering that ‘Reclaim the Night’ took place on the 100th anniversary of some women getting the vote, the ‘Not On’ ambassador also said how they were ‘proud to be standing next to them tonight’ as ‘for it to be 100 years for women to get the vote I think it shows how far we’ve come, but unfortunately, we do face drawbacks - it’s not just women who are sexually abused, so it’s not time to stop campaigning and pushing forward’. More information on the ‘Not On’ campaign can be found here.

second year English Lit student ~ News writer ~ (@sophie_woodley)


21st February 2018 at 9:00 am

Images from

Sophie Woodley