Thousands of people took part in a midnight march in Glasgow on Monday, in what campaigners hoped would be a show of defiance in light of several sexual assaults against women in the Scottish city.
The peaceful walk came after a 24-year-old woman was reportedly raped by two men in a park in Dixon Road. Detectives were also searching for three men after a 33-year-old woman was raped in Toryglen on 10 May.
The These Streets Are Made for Walking event began just before midnight at Queen’s Park on Victoria Road in Govanhill, with over 4000 Facebook users saying they would attend.
Glasgow residents Amanda Johnston and Ashley Crossan who organised the march explained on Facebook that they were “tired of harassment and the fear of assault" as young women living in the city.
They added that they hoped the event would focus the blame on sexual attackers, instead of how victims behave.
“This walk is then both a show of solidarity, in support of the victims of rape, and a call to action; to encourage more police presence and support in this area and to make sure that these kind of attacks on our mothers/sisters/daughters/spouse (and indeed fathers/brothers/sons) never happen,” they said.
Donations collected during the walk were given to Rape Crisis Scotland, according to the women.
Regarding the assaults, Superintendent Brian McInulty said in a statement prior to the walk: “I understand that members of both communities may be worried following these assaults, however, I would like to take this opportunity to reassure the public that we have two teams of specially trained officers from the Rape Investigation Unit dedicated to these enquiries.
“Extensive enquiries are continuing and they are progressing with several lines being investigated. At this time there is nothing to suggest that these incidents are linked.”
He added that high visibility patrols were operating in the area, and that anyone with concerns should contact an officer or call Police Scotland on 101.
“We are continuing to support both victims and I would again appeal to anyone who has any information which can help progress the enquiry to contact Police. Please do not assume that anyone else has told us what you know or that information you have might not be relevant to the enquiry,” he added.