A WOMEN’S march is returning to Colchester for the first time in 40 years.

The famous Reclaim the Night march has been organised by Colchester-based charity Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse.

Reclaim the Night first came to the UK in 1977.

One of the first marches took place in Leeds, where women took to the streets to protest the police requesting women to stay at home after dark in response to the Yorkshire Ripper murders.

This year, the march will be a bid to stamp out sexual violence and domestic abuse.

CARA manager and Reclaim the Night organiser Sarah Clementson said: “We are inviting the community to march with us, reclaim the night and light up Colchester.

“By marching we are saying no to sexual violence, domestic abuse, street harassment, rape culture, victim blaming and all forms of male violence against women.

“We are marching for a better world, free from violence and abuse.

“We are giving women a voice and a chance to reclaim the streets at night on a safe and empowering event.”

CARA works with victims and survivors of sexual violence and child sexual abuse, providing support and representing their rights and needs.

Sarah added: “It’s hard to believe how much the march is still needed over 40 years after it came the UK.

“The statistics speak for themselves.

“One in three women experience sexual abuse of some kind in their lifetime.

“Two women a week are killed by their male partner or ex-partner.

“This is unacceptable, and we are calling on anyone of any gender who agrees that is unacceptable to join us on the march.

“We want to make some noise and draw attention to this important issue.”

Anyone wishing to join the march should meet at Firstsite, Lewis Gardens, at 5.45pm on November 17.

A banner-making stall will be available at the High Street market from 10am until 4pm.

For more information, go to the website at www.reclaimthenight.co.uk.