A socially distanced ‘Reclaim the Night’ vigil and protest was held in Aberystwyth this evening, in response to the death of Sarah Everard.

The Reclaim the Night vigil and protest was held on South Beach “to honour and remember those who have been victims of violence against women and to protest the misogyny and culture of violence that is so prevalent in our country that women do not feel safe to walk the streets at night”, said organisers.

Organisers also spoke to the crowd of over 100 people of their own experiences and issues pertaining to gendered violence and sexual assault, and invited others to do the same.

Aisleen Sturrock, told the crowd: “Women are reclaiming the night, we are reclaiming the night.

“To feel safe when we walk alone, to be safe on the internet and to be safe in our own homes.”

Many women, and men, came forward from the crowd to tell their own stories of sexual harassment and assault.

Many also addressed the recent police, crime, sentencing and courts bill, that has passed its first parliamentary hurdle, and will restrict the right to protest.

Aisleen added: “I cannot express how important protests are, and they want to take away our voices even more.

“Women have never been safe. Even with Sarah’s murder, and it was a murder and not a death, that is not an isolated incident. This happens to women all over the world, every day.”

Former Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Ceredigion, Dinah Mulholland, also addressed the attendees saying: “I’ve heard countless stories through this extraordinary week online.

"But it doesn’t affect you in the same way as it does when you see women in the flesh standing up and sharing their experiences of micro aggression, their experiences of rape, their experiences of sexual assault. And I’m sure throughout the evening as we carry on we’ll hear experiences of domestic violence as well.”

The Reclaim the Night movement, which began in the 1970s, was reignited across the UK after the murder of Sarah Everard.

On 3 March, Everard went missing after leaving a friend’s house near Clapham Common, in London, to walk home to the Brixton Hill area.

On 9 March, a Metropolitan Police Officer, with the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection unit, Wayne Couzens was arrested, first on suspicion of Everard’s kidnapping and later on suspicion of murder.

Her remains were discovered on 10 March and Couzens was charged with kidnapping and murder two days later.

A plea and trial preparation hearing has been set for the Old Bailey on 9 July, at which Couzens will be asked to give a plea to the offences of kidnap and murder.

Dyfed Powys Police said they were aware of this evening’s vigil and before the event, encouraged people not to attend.

A spokesperson for the force said: "We are aware of a small vigil planned in Aberystwyth this evening in memory of Sarah Everard.

“Officers will monitor the gathering.

"We would encourage people not to attend gatherings such as this, which could put public health at risk, and ask them consider other ways that you can support the cause.

"But if you must attend, then please stay safe, observe social distancing and make any pro-test peaceful."