As stated on NL Sexual Assault Crisis & Prevention Center’s website, the Take Back the Night march “is an action created to enable large numbers of women to publicly express our anger and intolerance of violence against women and vulnerable groups.” From an early age, to avoid the risk of violent attacks, females are told to not walk alone, to avoid dark areas, don’t walk at night, to avoid strangers, in essence to give up independence, a right thousands of strong women fought for. The reality is that the spousal-homicide rate for women in this province is 5 times higher than that of men, with the largest number experiencing violence at the hands of someone they love.*
“The Take Back the Night March is a public protest organized by women, for women. It serves as a means for women to unite and voice our desire to end the fear and perceived responsibility women experience when it comes to sexual assault, harassment, and other forms of violence.”
Generally communities come together to march on the third Friday in September in recognition of Sexual Violence Awareness Week. The local coordinating committees, under the Southwestern Coalition to End Violence supports local women’s centers in the area with this march.
This year in Stephenville, 61 females, or those identifying as female, marched from the Killick Cafe to LA Bown where they were greeted and welcomed by men, women and children of the Drumming Circle. Marchers and supporters enjoyed delicious bbq while taking time to read the many messages of survival and hope drawn on t-shirts as part of the Clothesline project.
Also on display were the Faceless Dolls a project of the Newfoundland Aboriginal Women’s Network. Each doll represents a person who were murdered or missing.
HELP Committee in Burgeo took part in their Take Back the Night Walk on Friday, September 28, 2017. Although the weather did not cooperate in their favour, over 40 women and children “united and voiced their desire to end the fear” and perception that women are responsible for sexual violence and other forms.
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