WOMEN protesters pounded the streets of Oxford last night to ‘reclaim the night’ as part of an anti-sexual harassment campaign movement.

More than 100 campaigners marched from Modern Art Oxford at 7.15pm and walked through the city to East Oxford Community Centre.

The group said that the walk aimed to reclaim spaces women may avoid for fear of violence, sexual harassment or rape, and to raise awareness about violence against women.

Organisers say 85,000 women are raped every year and that one in five women aged 16-59 experience some form of sexual violence in their life.

Speaking at the walk, co-organiser and director of Oxfordshire Sexual Abuse & Rape Crisis Centre Lisa Ward said: “People now are talking about it more.

“Women are more willing to start having these conversations and opening up and that can only be a good thing, it is a start. There is a lot of work still being done in Oxford about raising awareness.”

Also speaking at the event, fellow organiser Debbie Hollingsworth said of the campaign: “You should not have to be in such a large group, we should not have to have a man with us.

“I think it is quite sad that even now there is still a large number of women that are harassed and sexually assaulted.”

The event, which started in 2005 and has run each year since, takes place on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Campaigners are supported by Oxfordshire Sexual Abuse & Rape Crisis Centre, Refugee Resource, Oxford Against Cutting, The Young Women’s Music Project, Headington Girls School, Oxford’s two universities.