Women March to Reclaim the Night

Everyone in Dorset is invited to join WAND for its annual Reclaim the Night event on Saturday 24th November from 6.30pm-10.30pm at the Town Hall in Dorchester.

WAND – Women’s Action Network Dorset – is hosting the night to link in with the UN’s “International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women” held each year on 25th November.

Tickets cost £5, to be bought on the door, and include a drumming workshop with the wonderful Organic Rhythm, a buffet supper and a charity auction.  The main event of the evening will be a short march through the Dorchester streets to ‘Reclaim the Night’.

The money raised from the auction will go to support the Dorset Women’s Crisis and Information Centre and to The Shores (the Dorset Sexual Assault Referral Centre) in Bournemouth to support their valuable work. In 2017, they raised over £650 at the event (including a couple of generous donations).

Laura Hillier, WAND core group member, said

“I’m extremely proud to work with WAND, because of the amazing work they do for women in Dorset. Reclaim the Night fits in with WAND’s overall approach of being a ‘social, serious, and supportive’ organisation. It’s a really fun night with a great atmosphere, but the event also gives us the opportunity to speak out against crimes committed disproportionately against women and girls. The money raised is going to some incredibly deserving causes, which provide crucial services for women affected by abuse and assault.”

Referrals to the Dorset police continue to rise, and in 2017 they were the highest they’d ever been. There were 5,892 domestic abuse crimes recorded, which is a 12% rise from 2016 figures. However, an 84% conviction rate was achieved – Dorset Police’s domestic abuse conviction rate (in both Crown and Magistrates courts) tends to sit above the national average throughout the year. From January to the end of September 2018, there have been 4,934 recorded domestic abuse crimes in Dorset.*

Tracey West, local author and broadcaster and proud Patron of the Women’s Action Network Dorset says she always looks forward to attending this liberating and vibrant event.

She explains

“It’s always a challenge to find the right words to talk about the Reclaim the Night in Dorchester. It is undoubtedly a very special night where united voices make a positive noise to say, ‘Enough is enough’ but I’d like not to have to write them at all. I’d love domestic violence to be a thing of the past, as would many other women in Dorset who are faced with a clear and present danger every day. Speaking out is really the only way to bring it to an end. Please consider coming to our Reclaim the Night event and joining the rising number of women and men who are all saying NO! We hope you can join us.”

They are welcoming anyone who wishes to contribute towards ending violence against woman – so this will not be a female only event – it is open to everyone.  So please go along to the friendly event which promises a fun evening despite its serious message.

For more information or if you would like to make a donation to the charity auction please contact wanddorset@gmail.com or call 01305 819463.

More information is available at www.wandwomen.org.uk or on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/fantasticdorsetwomen

*Information re police figures provided by Fiona MacDonald of the Dorset Police’s communications department