The annual Take Back the Night event returned to the streets of Kamloops last Thursday. Hosted by the Kamloops Sexual Assault Counselling Centre, this free event aims at bringing people together and challenging social norms.
The event began with prayers and speeches honouring the survivors, the lost and the vulnerable women affected by assault in any form all around the world.
Barb Gladdish, the agency coordinator appealed to the people that they have voices and also someone to hear them.
“There is strength and power in numbers and collectively we’re stronger and louder, together we can and we will face and challenge social norms,” she added.
Representatives from the ASK Wellness society spoke about the options available to help vulnerable women in difficult situations.
The S.H.O.P. program aims at providing services to people who are currently working in the sex work industry and also people who have retired or exited. It values community development, outreach and support.
It was remarkable to see women and men come together to march for the lives of the women who were assaulted, never found, got lost and never returned.
The heavy rain and cold weather and a few tearful eyes did not stop marchers as young as two years old from following their cause.
Just before the walk commenced, the marchers cheered on to the slogan, “Hey hey, ho ho: Patriarchy has to go”.
People made colourful banners with bold slogans. ‘No means NO’, ‘We are not things’, a few of them read, held by kids as young as four and five.
The march began from Seymour street through Victoria street and then back to the venue, St. Andrews on the Square. The march was peaceful, law-abiding and guided by several marshalls.
Take Back the Night has been a great approach in bringing people together to raise awareness and end relationships, sexual and all other kinds of violence.