The Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre (KSAC) is hosting a Take Back the Night event in four counties this year, called the “Light Your Way Walk.” They will be situated on the Fleming campuses in Peterborough, Haliburton, Cobourg, and Lindsay.
Take Back the Night, also known as Reclaim the Night, has been happening across the globe since the mid-70s. These events are protests against the sexual violence that women have endured and the type of culture that doesn’t allow women to be able to feel safe walking alone at night. Historically, it has been a women’s only event.
Karen Basciano, KSAC’s Public Education and Special Events Co-ordinator, has been organizing Take Back the Night events in Peterborough for 13 years.
“It’s a Take Back the Night event, but it’s called Light Your Way. So people will have little flashlights and glow in the dark wrist bands.”
KSAC is inviting everyone to come to their event this year, regardless of their gender or age. There will be a man speaking at each rally about how men can be allies to women.
“Women have marched for years, in terms of trying to dispel some of the myths of “don’t walk alone at night” and “careful what you’re wearing when you’re out” – that’s originally what Take Back the Night started as in Peterborough. I’ve seen TBTN around the world evolving and growing. Most communities have men there now, involved or at the very least, lining the streets in support of the women.”
“It’s kind of nice to feel like we’re evolving in terms of Take Back the Night.”
KSAC is hoping for a larger turnout this year. In the past, they have only organized the rally in Peterborough. Last year, they had about 45-50 people show up.
“It’s been a lot more work to organize it in four counties.”
KSAC is hoping for 100 people to come to participate in the walk on each campus.
Lately, there has been a push back from some men, claiming that the sexual assault awareness campaigns are too focused on men, and feel as though they are too accusatory.
“Campaigns like “Don’t be That Guy” are based on statistics,” said Basciano.
“The thing is, the campaign isn’t saying that it’s every man [who is the aggressor] … they are not saying that you are that guy, they’re saying don’t be that guy.”
The Trent Feminist Society will be representing Trent University at the Peterborough rally. If you don’t want to come alone, they can arrange a time for everyone go together. There is an event page on Facebook called, “Trent Takes Back the Night.”
The Peterborough walk will take place on the Fleming Campus, 599 Brealey Drive, at the new soccer field. The event starts at 7:30pm. There will be some sort of musical entertainment. The walk will go from 8pm to 8:30 and end with a moment of silence for victims of violence.