Page 3939 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 29 October 2013

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children to make friends outside the schoolyard, achieve something physically and increase self-esteem. This helps with social development and confidence for later in life.

This is one great organisation which helps to achieve the ACT government’s “zero growth” and reduce obesity and sedentary lifestyles across the ACT. Along with our schemes to install water bottle refill stations and supply reusable drink bottles to every primary school in five years, we hope to have phased out sugary drinks from primary schools across the ACT. We are also implementing urban design development to facilitate cycling and walking for all residents of the territory to attempt to achieve this goal. The activities of kids in little athletics supplement the work towards this by providing excellent physical exercise to the children involved.

I am certain that the new upgrades at the Woden athletics track will act as a facilitator for more and more children to develop socially, stay healthy and have fun as the new facilities will provide an improvement in the ability of the location to host larger events with more participants and great outcomes. In the meantime, the Boomanulla Oval is the perfect place to host the club while they are waiting for the Woden site to re-open.

Reclaim the night

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (4.30): This afternoon I rise to bring attention to “reclaim the night.” This is an annual global protest for and by women, backed by men, to demand the fundamental human right to live free from the fear and reality of sexual violence. I attended reclaim the night, along with my Assembly colleague Mr Rattenbury, last Friday evening, 25 October.

The statistics show that around one in five women and one in 20 men have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15. Reclaim the night protests highlight the prevalence of sexual violence in our community and the importance of eliminating it. Sexual assault is a hidden crime and shame can make it difficult to discuss. Far too frequently, the victims are blamed because they were drinking or wearing “provocative” clothing. This delays their recovery and ultimately discourages women from coming forward.

Reclaim the night has been around for about 35 years. It really started gaining momentum in England during a period when the Yorkshire Ripper attacked and murdered 13 women between 1975 and 1980. At that time the police responded by telling women to stay inside after dark, effectively putting them under a curfew. The Leeds Revolutionary Feminist Group called for women to march against rape and for the right to walk without fear at night. Hundreds of women took back their cities on the night of 12 November 1977, marching with flaming torches through city centres and back streets alike. They wanted to make the point that women should be able to walk anywhere and they should not be blamed or restricted because of men’s violence. The issue needs to be addressed at its core, rather than women simply hiding from it.

Over the years reclaim the night has evolved to focus on rape and male violence, generally giving women one night when they can feel safe to walk the streets of their towns and cities around the world.

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