A community event that aims to unite, empower and educate people from all walks of life will return to the South Cariboo next week.
Take Back The Night, hosted by the 100 Mile Women’s Centre Society, will get underway at 4 p.m. Oct. 3 at the community hall and will include a peaceful march paying tribute to all those affected by violence against women and children.
“Violence and abuse has no boundaries,” says Kalika Moody, a counsellor at the women’s centre. “It affects all people, all races, all religions, all ages and all economic statuses.”
In addition to giving a voice to those victimized by violence and abuse, Take Back the Night aims to provide resources and support, as well as shine a light on an issue that Moody says is more prevalent than one might think.
“Even if we have not directly experienced violence and abuse, often we know someone who has,” she explains. “The benefit of Take Back the Night is that it provides an opportunity for education about violence and abuse, about resiliency and how to pull upon our strength and carry on, and tap into the resources around us.”
Doors open for the event at 4 p.m. and a welcoming ceremony by Chief Helen Henderson is set for 5 p.m.
The walk is set for 5:30 p.m., followed by supper back at the hall, speeches from local dignitaries, an opportunity for men to stand and honour women and children and a presentation by Val O’Leary on ‘Strength and Inter-connectedness.’
The first ever Take Back the Night event took place in the mid-1970s, as a call to end sexual, relationship and domestic violence. The Women’s Centre Society began hosting local walks in 1996, and the annual event in 100 Mile House is now one of hundreds such walks that take place across 30 countries.
In preparing for next week’s event, Moody reflects upon how far the women’s rights movement has come.
“At one point in our history, women had no say about anything,” she notes. “Now we’re seeing that women are more empowered to recognize that they have choices, they have an opportunity for change in their life and for embracing safety from violence and abuse. They are entitled to healthy and respectful relationships.”
The event is open to men, women and children of all ages. Donations will be gratefully accepted at the community hall following the march.
To find out more, call the centre at 250-395-4093 or email firstname.lastname@example.org