The Kamloops Sexual Assault Counselling Centre is preparing to host Take Back the Night, an event that takes place worldwide in an effort to raise awareness about sexualized violence against women.
The movement originated in Philadelphia in 1975, after the murder of a woman who had been walking home late one evening. The events often include marches, rallies and vigils to honour the victims.
The KSACC has held this event in the past, starting approximately 25 years ago. It gives the community a chance to stand together and show support to victims of sexual abuse.
“In the last couple of years the discussion around sexual violence has gained a lot of media attention, but prior to that it didn’t,” Barb Gladdish of the KSACC explains, “and because it wasn’t talked about openly amongst societal members, we ensure the protection and safety of the people who are accessing services at KSACC.”
The Kamloops Sexual Assault Counselling Centre is a non-profit organization that opened its doors in 1982. They offer a variety of free resources to both male and female children and adults, including specific counselling programs and community-based victim services such as supporting survivors that are accessing the criminal justice system.
The centre also has a Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Response Team, mostly made up of volunteers, who support people who access Royal Inland Hospital and have recently been a victim of sexual assault or domestic violence.
People are encouraged to arrive at 4:30 p.m. to make posters for the march, and opening speeches and prayers will begin at 5 p.m. Snacks and refreshments will be available after the march, along with music and yoga.
“It’d be great to get more people out [to the march], and as we educate and work more collaboratively with the community, I think that movement will help us to go forward to see more people in attendance,” Gladdish said.
The event is open to anyone who wants to attend. The event in Kamloops will be taking place this Sept. 12. It will be held at St. Andrew’s on the Square at 159 Seymour Street.