Featuring a march, Indigenous welcome and a workshop on empowerment, the Take Back the Night event will be hosted by the 100 Mile & District Women’s Centre Society on Wednesday, Oct. 4.
“The Take Back the Night event is all about having a voice against violence and abuse against women and children,” says Kalika Moody, a stopping the violence counsellor with the Women’s Centre.
Originally organized in response to the necessity often imposed upon women to take extra precautions for their safety at nighttime, the event has grown to include and advocate for survivors of violence and abuse against women, children and men, says Moody.
“It helps us to recognize the continuous need for change and for healing and for being a voice for those who may not have a voice for themselves.”
In recent years the event has expanded in the community of 100 Mile House.
This year’s event will go from 4 to 9 p.m. Oct. 4, starting at the 100 Mile Community Centre, at the corner of Birch Avenue and Third Street.
At 4 p.m. the doors will open for a sign in and meet and greet.
At 5 p.m. Canim Lake Chief Mike Archie, along with other Canim Lake community members will conduct a traditional welcome.
At 5:30 p.m. the Take Back the Night walk through town will begin, escorted by the RCMP.
Walkers are scheduled to arrive back at the community hall for a dinner of pizza and cake at 6 p.m. followed by Ingrid Mapson singing at 6:30 p.m.
At 6:45 p.m. Tracy Leach, a well-known Indigenous counsellor and workshop facilitator who focuses on land-based healing, will lead a workshop on empowerment.
“She is going to do a two-hour presentation on empowerment recognizing that when it comes to violence and abuse for all, that we need to focus on the positive aspects and we need to focus on our strength and our gifts and to focus on empowerment to help us through those hard times,” says Moody.
To end the evening, the group will have a “Honouring in Silence Circle” at 9 p.m.
“We’ll be doing a very simple ceremony.. . to honour women, men and children who have lost their lives to violence and abuse as well as all those who have been affected in some way by violence and abuse,” says Moody.
While the event is free, Moody encourages those who are able to give a donation to the event to help with anti-violence programs run by the Women’s Centre.
“The Women’s Centre is a non-profit charitable org and we really do count on the communities generosity to continue existing as an organization,” she says.
The Women’s Centre runs a safe house program for survivors of violence with Victim Link (the number to reach that is 1-800-563-0808) as well as emergency counselling services from Monday to Thursday at 1 p.m. or via drop in, as well as legal advocacy for people in the area.
Moody invites anyone interested to attend the Take Back the Night event.
“Politicians who are in charge of change on a political level, women, children, men of all ages, of all sectors of professions. It’s open to everybody and everyone.”
The end goal is to help make the streets safer for everyone in the community.
“It really did stem from a need to feel safe, to be safe.”