A group of around 40 people gathered at the Moor in Falmouth on Friday to protest against gender-based violence and police corruption, in remembrance of and solidarity with victims and survivors past and present.
There were speeches made by female students and local students speaking more generally about the problem of gendered violence and more recent cases like the murder of Sarah Everard earlier this year.
They drew slogans and sayings on the floor in chalk, including: “Why do I need a man to walk me home?”
Particularly in Falmouth, gendered violence has become a hot button issue in light of recent social media reports of spiking across Devon and Cornwall, although police have only received three reports of spiking in Falmouth since the start of September, and reports of two attempted kidnappings in Penryn and Falmouth.
“We’ve had enough with the what was she wearing, who was she with, why was she going out”, said one protestor.
One student told the Anchor that a mass email sent to students, titled “Reports of ‘spiking’ incidents”, was not enough, and what would make her feel safer would even be an acknowledgement of the problem.
“A rape alarm will not stop me from getting attacked… in the leaflet it even says that I should take reasonable precautions to stop myself being attacked… even in manufacturing information we are being blamed”.
Protestors marched along the high street past nightlife establishments like Mangos, Grapes, and Club International, finishing by Kings.
In response to this article, the Falmouth & Exeter Students’ Union told the Anchor: “Devon and Cornwall Police, local licensed premises and the universities are working together to reinforce safety measures and schemes across the local area and to ensure that the concerns within the student community are heard. See the joint statement by both universities, Devon and Cornwall police and the SU here.
“The SU is aware that there is a much wider dialogue on gender inequality and intersectionality within it, with some students disproportionately affected by risk when it comes to issues such as drink spiking and harassment. Falmouth and Penryn are very safe places to live, including for those who enjoy its various venues, bars and clubs.
“Reported incidents of spiking are low, not just locally but also across Devon and Cornwall. However, even one such incident is one too many. Devon and Cornwall Police are encouraging anyone who believes they have experienced, or witnessed, any incident of this nature to contact them immediately so that they can investigate without delay. The universities will provide all the necessary support for anyone who has been affected, via the Student Support Service.”