SURPRISE TWIST: Members of the Reclaim the Night sexual assault rally were surprised by actions of pub patrons.
SURPRISE TWIST: Members of the Reclaim the Night sexual assault rally were surprised by actions of pub patrons. Matt Collins

Pub patrons join sexual assault rally in surprise twist

ANY time you take a strong stance on a topic, there will always be the naysayers.

Cynical people who attempt to drown out your passionate voice with their differing views or taunting remarks.

But the ultimate win comes when the naysayers eventually join the fight and support you with the cause.

This is exactly what happened during the annual Reclaim the Night sexual assault awareness event and group march through the Kingaroy CBD.

The event hosted by South Burnett Centacare raises awareness of a serious issue in our community, sexual assault.

One of the event organisers, Centacare's Erin Jeffs recalls what happened during the group march back in 2017 that put a dampener on the inaugural event.

"We had a negative experience as we all walked past one of the pubs in town,” she said.

"A group of men started singing football songs and tried to drown us out.”

This was extremely distasteful considering the group march, which included people of all ages and many victims of sexual assault, were paving the streets drawing attention to a very serious issue.

But not all hope was lost.

The very next year, the passionate group set off again on their annual rally through the Kingaroy CBD chanting their message denouncing sexual assault.

As the group made their way towards the pub with the undesirable patrons, memories of the previous year's altercation came flooding back.

But as the brave group made their way passed the pub chanting their message, they were surprised at what unfolded.

Not only did the pub-goers not shout out vulgar football songs, but something else made Ms Jeffs smile.

"They joined in,” she said.

"They jumped onto the end of the march.”

This heart warming tale proves if you are passionate enough, brave enough and loud enough to fight for your cause, others will eventually be persuaded to join in.

The 2019 Centacare Reclaim the Night event and town march will be held on Thursday October 24 from 5pm at the Kingaroy Town Hall Forecourt.

There will be live music and a sausage sizzle after the group march through the Kingaroy CBD.

All are welcome to attend.

For more information , follow the South Burnett Sexual Assault Action Group Facebook page.

South Burnett

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