Launching this year’s Reclaim the Night campaign, the Students’ Union have stated that they are “raising awareness of sexual violence on campus, building a speak-up culture, and calling it by its name”.
This years campaign will involve several events in the student’s union including: self-defence classes, a “know your rights” workshop, and a banner-making event.
Self-defence classes will be running on November 22 and 28. These classes are free to attend and will teach “basic self-defence techniques through the Filipino martial art eskrima”.
This event aims to teach people how to defend themselves in the face of gender-based violence.
A workshop to inform people on their legal rights when attending protests is also being hosted on the November 28. This is especially relevant following the passing of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act in April, which strengthened laws against protests.
This workshop is being run by Green & Black Cross , an “independent, volunteer-run organisation providing legal advice and support to protestors in England and Wales.”
This workshop covers legal advice relating to police tactics and private security, laws commonly used against protestors, stop and search, and what happens in the event of an arrest.
In a report conducted by Resist Rape Culture into sexual violence on campus from May to July last year, 78% of respondents said they had experienced unwanted attention or sexual assault. Alongside this only, 3% said that UoM had a good survivor support system.
In the wake of these findings, the Reclaim the Night campaign is seeking to increase the use of the safe zone app, increase student satisfaction with counselling and reporting services, and make consent workshops adequate and mandatory.