The United Nations International Day to End Violence Against Women was brought to Newcastle by a noisy and powerful march organised by the Northern TUC on Saturday night

Reclaim the nightLed by the uplifting and defiant rhythms of all-female Samba band The Bangshes, the marchers took their protest against the sexual-assault of women to the streets of Newcastle and reclaimed the city-centre as a space which women could use without feat of rape.

The march concluded with a rally at Newcastle Civic Centre which was addressed by UNISON Regional Convenor Clare Williams, Northumbria Police and Crime Comissioner Vera Baird and Martine Dellard of the North East Feminist Gathering.

Each year an estimated 300,000 women are sexually assaulted (British Crime Survey 2001), yet Britain’s conviction rate is the lowest ever at just 5.3%. When Reclaim the Night marches were first started in the 1970s, women were appalled that only 1 in 3 rapists were ever convicted; today that figure is 1 in 20.” – Northern TUC