Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Reclaim the Night and the Park

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Reclaim the Night and the Park

Article excerpt

Byline: Thomas Hornall Reporter ec.news@ncjmedia.co.uk

SCORES of defiant women turned out in protest after a rape in a Tyneside park.

It followed the attack on the 22-yearold who was walking through Newcastle's Heaton Park between 10.50pm and 11.10pm on February 21 when her assailant pounced.

Locals, refusing to be intimidated, showed support by gathering together at the scene for a minute's silence.

Organiser Katie Liddle, 38, a project manager at Oxfam, said: "I thought I'd have 10 people out tonight, but look how many showed up. That shows how committed this city is to tackling violence against women.

"This is my local park where I come with my daughter. It belongs to all of us, nobody should be scared to walk through here for fear of attack."

Many were concerned at how dark the park gets with no lit pathways and lots of dense areas with bushes.

Christina Muller-Stewart, 45, who moved to Heaton in 1995, said: "This park used to be a lot more friendly for families but it has been so neglected recently with groups of kids hanging about drinking in here, taking drugs."

Her daughter, Eltje, 16, said: "You see used syringes, used condoms in here. You never walk through Heaton Park by yourself."

School pals Lea Coxon, 17, Frankie Jobling, 17, and Rhona Hayday, 18, have grown up in Heaton and were shaken at the attack.

Frankie said: "We have always felt safe here and have been coming since we were kids.

"It's so, so sad. I think more than ever we need to stay together when coming through, we've never had a reason to feel unsafe or scared before."

Coun Stephen Powers, who represents the Ouseburn ward, said: "This has rocked the foundation of the community but it shows how strong residents are in standing together and against violence both in hope and anger.

"Police have increased patrols for the foreseeable future and we will have a meeting to discuss ways to increase safety measures in the park. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.