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Dunedin ‘Takes Back the Night’

Otago University Students’ Association
Official Media Release
6 March 2008
Attention: Reporters
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Dunedin ‘Takes Back the Night’

Thursday 6th March will see members of the public and community groups unite together to rally against violence and harassment in the city. The ‘Take Back the Night’ Rally is being coordinated by the Otago University Students’ Association (OUSA), and seeks to promote the message that all people have the right to be free, to be heard, and to take back their rights after they have been violated. The rally will begin in the Octagon at 6pm with speakers from various community organisations and local government.

The decision to run the ‘Take Back the Night’ Rally was made following the vicious rape of a young woman in Dunedin in November last year. The need for the rally was further exemplified after the tragic murder of Sophie Elliot, a University of Otago Student, earlier this year.

“These attacks illustrate what we already know - that violence can happen to anyone, anytime, in any place. That’s the purpose of ‘Take Back the Night’ – to encourage people to recognise that violence and harassment isn’t confined to dark alleys in the early hours of the morning” Said OUSA’s Women’s Representative, Ashley Murchison.

Ms Murchison hopes that the rally will encourage people to speak more openly about the issue of rape and violence in Dunedin, and that it will remind those who have been abused or harassed, and their family and friends, that there are people they can always turn to for help.

The rally will conclude with a minute silence and a candlelight vigil. “It’s an opportunity for the public to commemorate those we have lost, and a chance to acknowledge those who still stand with us today despite challenges” Ms Murchison added.


ENDS

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