Around 60 islanders gathered to walk through St Helier this evening to show solidarity with the survivors of sexual violence.
The event was organised by Jersey Action Against Rape, and came three weeks after a teenager was raped at a bus stop in Gorey on Halloween night. Police are still hunting for her attacker.
St. Helier Deputy Inna Gardiner spoke to those who gathered in the Royal Square at the start of the walk, and explained why she wanted to be involved:
"Recent events in our community have left individuals feeling anxious and fearful when walking alone at night, it might trigger some feelings of anger and confusion...it's important that we be calm and at the same time be vigilant.
"With more survivors coming forward, we see many crimes are undisclosed, unseen, unreported. I hope this peaceful walk will encourage victims to come forward and report the crimes against them, and seek help and support."
Pictured: Deputy Inna Gardiner speaking ahead of the walk.
"If you hear someone joke about rape, tell them...this will normalise unacceptable behaviour, it can isolate survivors, making it harder for them to come forward.
"If you think someone you know might be in an unsafe relationship, be their friend, make it clear that you are here for them."
JAAR says that one in three women worldwide experience some form of sexual violence and one in six men, with 10% being perpetrated by a stranger.
Pictured: around 60 walkers gathered in the Royal Square.
Sara McIntosh, Chair of JAAR, said: “The message we want to convey to all islanders during this walk is that we are here to prevent and heal the trauma of rape and sexual assault.
“We encourage islanders from all walks of life to come out and support those who have suffered. We as a community stand together against this heinous crime.”
Annalisa Bale, JAAR Committee Member added: "Your presence here tonight lets survivors know that they are not alone. We stand with them, and we support them. We hope that this show of solidarity will help survivors feel empowered."
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