A march was held in Napier this afternoon to support victims of recent indecent assaults in Hawke's Bay.

More than 50 people gathered at the Napier Soundshell for the Reclaim Our Streets march organised to empower women following a spate of attacks.

Organiser Jenny Keown said she created the march when she heard of people being afraid to walk in their neighbourhoods after the attacks.

"They left us feeling vulnerable, we didn't want to go out of our houses," she said.


"I really hope from today that we can prove that we're a community that gets together when something like this happens and seeks connections and feels empowered by this sort of action."

Women had stopped walking alone, ditched their normal routes and some no longer walked at all, she said.

"I don't think that you can overstate what happens...to the mentality of women and the fear that's created.

"The whole thing was something that came out of the blue...it could happen again, it could happen at any point really.

"It's about raising our voices about this issue and saying no this isn't good enough and we aren't this sort of community."

Personally, Mrs Keown used to go to Pakowhai Regional Park alone with her dog and children but no longer does this.

She shifted with her family from Auckland two years ago because she wanted to spend more time with her children and live in a community that was safe.

"I don't want the actions of one person, or a tiny handful of people, to determine how I feel about my community."


Coincidentally the march fell on White Ribbon Day which is held each year to help prevent men's violence towards women.

A Hawke's Bay White Ribbon New Zealand ambassador, Malcolm Byford, attended the march and spoke to the crowd about the importance of fathers teaching sons about respecting women

Napier resident Hilary Finn said she came to the march because she wanted to be able to run in her neighbourhood and feel safe.

Teresa Clements, also of Napier, said as someone who has been in domestic violence situations before she wanted to attend the march to make a stand against these recent public acts of violence towards women.

"It's not nice for women to be treated in this manner."

Yvonne Faulkner, of Taradale, said she knew two of the attack victims and attended the event in support of them.

"I want to make our streets safer."

Yesterday another charge was laid against a 29-year-old man who currently faces one charge of indecently assaulting a woman on Burns Rd, Napier, on November 5.

He was arrested on November 10.

The new charge relates to an alleged sexual violation of another woman in Havelock North also on November 5.

The man, who has name suppression, was due to appear in the Rotorua District Court today.

Hawke's Bay Police Area Commander Inspector Dave Greig said a very focused team were continuing to investigate previously reported indecent assaults in Napier, Taradale and Havelock North, and were making good progress thanks to information provided by the community.

The investigation remains ongoing.

On November 1, a Woodford House student was running with a friend when she was reportedly grabbed by a young, well-dressed male as they ran past him on Palmerston Rd in Havelock North.

Police are also making inquiries into an attempted indecent assault at the intersection of Meeanee and Lee roads in Taradale that same night.

The following morning a Napier Girls' High School student reported being grabbed from behind by a man while walking to school on Bluff Hill.

Last month a woman was sexually assaulted while walking in the Shakespeare Rd area on Bluff Hill and at the end of September a female jogger was attacked while exercising on O'Dowd Rd in Taradale around 6am.

The walk started at the Napier Soundshell at 2pm and went from along Coote Rd, Shakespeare Rd, Browning St and ended at Magnet Cafe.