Students walk to reclaim Stirling’s streets

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Dozens of students took to Stirling’s streets on Sunday night to take a stand against gender-based violence.

The event saw 30-40 people gathered at the bottom of King Street in the city centre in a vigil for women killed by male violence.

It followed similar vigils across the country after the death of Sarah Everard in London, who was killed after going missing earlier this month.

The walks were organised over an anonymous student Instagram page, UoS Pinboard, where a post on Friday encouraged students to go for a walk with their flatmates at 11 o’clock on Sunday night, which led to the unplanned vigil as groups met in the city centre.

Students held placards and lit candles for a tribute to the victims of gender based violence and made speeches.
Postgraduate student Charlene Grigaitis-Schickler addressed the gathered crowd saying,

“This happens all the time, and it is sad that it takes something this big and this publicised to gain traction when everyday this is what the reality of what our lives are.”

The Student Union Women’s Officer Jess Reid, who authored a report published last month highlighting student experiences of sexual assault at Stirling University, spoke about how preventing violence against women should not become just some trend that moves on.

“This needs not to be a trend, some of our institutions are still not as receptive as they should be.

“I am worried that people will just see this as another hashtag of the week, and that is not acceptable.

“The momentum has to continue.”

Some students also took part in the event on Stirling University’s campus, walking at night with groups from their accommodation.

There was a small police presence at the city gathering, who engaged with the students and ensured social distancing was taking place.

Similar events and online vigils are being discussed for future dates on student social media pages.

Featured Image Credit: Theo Barrett

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Freelance award-winning journalist | Best Journalist SPARC Scotland 2021 | Stirling Uni Class of 2021 | Former Deputy Editor - Brig Newspaper | Bylines in The Scottish Sun, The Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser, The Barrhead News, The (Renfrew and Johnstone) Gazette, Brig Newspaper, The Oban Times, Stirling Today and Tales From Lockdown.

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