Brecon women took to the streets at the weekend walking to ‘Reclaim The Night’ and show solidarity to women throughout the UK who were standing up to violence against women and girls.

The candlelit walk, which started at Theatr Brycheiniog, was well supported with about 50 women and supporters taking part.

Led by Brecon Deputy Mayor Michaela Davies and Cllr Liz Rijnenberg, they were joined by Brecon’s current Mayor Cllr David Meredith, Cllr Charlotte Walton, Cllr Chris Walsh, Cllr Sian Drinian and women police officers from the Brecon neighbourhood team.

The walk culminated in a gathering at the Guildhall in Brecon town where Cllr Michaela Davies thanked them for attending and said:  “I believe every female should have the right to be exactly as they want to be. To do, say, eat, wear, work, love and believe whatever they want to.

"Women should not feel intimated in a bar, club, gym, school, on public transport or in the workplace. 

“Women should never have to feel uncomfortable walking home at night alone.

"It should not be the case, as it most definitely is, that women in Britain are forced to consider their own safety, that of their daughters, sisters, mothers, aunties, friends and colleagues on a daily basis.”

Reclaim the Night (BRECON)
Reclaim The Night walk through Brecon. (Reclaim the Night.)

Cllr Liz Rijnenberg added: "Women are continually fighting ambiguous messaging about how we should conduct ourselves. So we must be bold and determined if are to have that freedom of choice on where, how and when we move around.

"Sadly, there is still not enough being done to root out the toxic culture and behaviours in our institutions . We know that we have to educate our boys and young men to be decent. 

“We walked the same route around Brecon this time last year to mark Women’s Day and the anniversary of the murder of Sarah Everard.

"We know that she was not the first woman to be murdered on our streets in horrific circumstances and sadly she has not been the last. 

“Although Sarah’s murder was a watershed in terms of public protest and outrage there are so many women before and and after her whose names did not make the national news.

“However for the last 8 years on International Women’s Day, MP Jess Phillips, the Shadow Secretary for Violence against women has been giving a platform in parliament to the women who have been killed each year.

"Last Wednesday she read out the names of 108 women who have been killed in the previous 12 months and she did this whilst friends and families of those women watched in the gallery.

“It’s hard to end on a positive note when there are so many negative aspects surrounding this but the very fact that you came out tonight as women and supporters have done all over the country, to bring attention to violence against women and girls means that the struggle goes on.

Reclaim the Night (BRECON)
Cllr Liz Rijnenberg (Left) & Deputy Mayor Cllr Michaela Davies (Right) addressing the gathering at the Guildhall. (Reclaim the Night.)

"Little by little we will bring about change as long as we continue to fight for that change and demand that some men change their behaviour.`’

The event closed with a one-minute silence in memory of those women who had lost their lives to violence.