“Everyone unite our energies to illuminate the path to a violence-free world. “No More Rape! No More violence” were resounding words of Take Back the Night. On September 24, 2015 Take Back the Night: Light Your Way Walk- a rally and march to stand up against sexual violence was hosted on all of Fleming college campuses across the counties of Peterborough.
Take back the night is currently in its 39th year in North America, its purpose is for women and survivors of rape to stand up and speak out against the fears of walking the streets alone at night, fears of being out in public and being sexually harassed and to put a call out to the community about the urgency of safety for women and survivors of sexual violence.
“Rape crisis centers have traditionally been on board with take back the night for decades” explains Lisa Clark, needs assessment project manager “for Peterborough we have expanded take back the night to the inclusion of survivors of all genders of sexual violence, it’s important for to us to also ask for male allies to come and stand by with us and speak up against rape culture, misogyny and sexism that women and people with different gender identities face” adds Lisa.
She highlights the importance of young people being involved in initiatives such as this, emphasising the fact that women between the ages of 15-24 are at the highest risk of experiencing sexual violence. There were approximately a hundred attendees including Fleming students and members of the Peterborough community, day was also marked by Premier Wynne’s announcement of increased funding for sexual assault centers across the province.
Such initiatives are essential in addressing sexual violence in our communities, they also provide platforms to raise awareness of various issues such as the missing and murdered indigenous women, sexual violence on university campuses and the steps that need to be taken to create a safe space free of sexual violence.