Leicester students ‘Light the Night’ in awareness of sexual offence victims

By Thomas Carter

Students at De Montfort University took a united stand against sexual offences in a virtual event this month.

The annual event, ‘Light the Night’ saw students design their own homemade signs with messages of support and defiance in regard to crimes of a sexual nature, which were posted online and shared by the Students’ Union social media pages.

Alice Arnold, an Advertising and Public Relations Management student at DMU, said: “What’s great about ‘Light the Night’ is that it’s an easy event to get involved with and is really visible. I think these two combine to make for a great way to raise awareness.

“This year people could be involved with social media. I’m so sad we couldn’t do the walk like normal but showing solidarity on social media and with the SU’s online event was a great substitute.”

Alice Arnold, like many students, posted homemade signs on social media with personal messages.

Last year over 150 DMU students marched through the streets of Leicester City to raise awareness, with the walk beginning at Mill Lane Bridge and culminating in Town Hall Square, where the group stopped and students were invited to give speeches.

‘Light the Night’ also took place as part of the kick-off for DMU Pride, with events taking place throughout the month of February, celebrating diversity and love.

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) estimated that 7.5% of adults aged 18 to 74 years experienced sexual abuse before the age of 16 years (3.1 million people), which includes both adult and child perpetrators, showing the importance of the need to raise awareness.

If you seek help regarding sexual offences and abuse, The Survivors Trust can be called on 08088 010 818, or alternatively Help for Adult Victims of Child Abuse (HAVOCA) offers online support.

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