HUNDREDS turned up to march against sexual violence in Stroud following recent incidents of rape in the town.
The first of these took place near Stroud Cemetery off Bisley Road in May – the second occurred recently near Sainsbury’s, Dudbridge.
Various lewd acts across the Stroud canal cycle path have also been reported in recent months.
At Saturday’s protest a peaceful march was conducted which started in Wallbridge and went through the town centre and High Street.
Chants such as ‘This Ends Now’ and ‘No is No’ could be heard.
Many who attended wore black sports kit to symbolise women’s loss of freedom.
Speeches were then given by the protests organisers author and journalist Nikki Owen and legal expert Sydney-Anne McAllister, plus Stroud journalist Louise Tickle who specialises in reporting about domestic abuse and Dania Al-Obeid who was charged by the Met for attending Sarah Everard’s Vigil.
Finally, women, men and children held up high their keys in a minute’s reflection, symbolising how women have to protect themselves.
The pressure group This Ends Now – which organised Saturday’s march – was formed by Nikki Owen and Sydney-Anne McAllister in the wake of these attacks.
“Our aim in setting up This Ends Now is to end sexual violence against women and girls,” said Nikki.
“It’s something we really need to start talking about.
“These types of incidents are happening a lot in Stroud.
“This is not just a women’s issue but a human one.”
All of the above pictures were taken by photographer Simon Pizzey – http://simon-pizzey.squarespace.com/
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