Take Back the Night

Take Back the Night Oakville September 18, 2014

Halton Residents celebrate 24th Annual Take Back The Night in Oakville On Thursday September 18th the Halton Take Back the Night committee hosted Halton’s 24th Annual Take Back the Night (TBTN). Fourteen community partners and community members including the Sexual Assault & Violence Intervention Services of Halton (SAVIS), Halton ADAPT, The AIDS Network, Halton Community Legal Services, Halton District School Board, Halton Equity and Diversity Roundtable, Halton Regional Police Services, Halton Region Sexual Health & Needle Exchange Program, Halton Women’s Place, Nina’s Place, the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres, POSSE Project, the Women’s Centre and WomenatthecentrE were involved in the planning of this year’s event. Take Back the Night is an international anti violence event that raises awareness about women, children and Trans identified people’s right to walk safely alone at night without fear of violence or harassment. According to Statistics Canada (2006), more than one third of Canadian women report having had at least one experience of sexual assault since the age of 16.1 For the fifth consecutive year, Halton Region has been named the Safest Place to Live in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and the Safest Regional Municipality in Canada; however we still have work to do. In 2013 there were 119 sexual assaults reported to Halton police. The actual number of sexual assaults remains unknown since it is estimated that less than 10% of sexual assaults are reported to the police. This year’s event took place at Iroquois Ridge High School from 6:00-8:30pm and welcomed over 150 participants. The evening included an empowering keynote address from Halton resident and survivor of violence Krystal Nagel, a musical performance of “Give us Back the Night” by Nicole Fina & Mary Abdelnour, a spoken word performance by poetry artist Ambrosia and drumming by The Naked Beat drum circle prior to the event start and during the march. Participants enjoyed community information booths during the first half hour of the event, followed by a pre-march warm up with Danielle Pomeroy, a social worker in the Halton Youth Justice Program and Zumba instructor. During the women, children and Trans identified people march at the end of the night, the Male Ally Network (M.A.N) chaired a discussion on men working to end violence against women featuring Stephen Soucie from the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region’s education project Male Allies Against Sexual Violence (M.A.A.S.V). “Halton’s Take Back The Night continues to grow in size every year and provides a space for the community to come together to support survivors and speak up against violence” says Kathryn Baker-Reed, SAVIS Executive Director. The Halton Take Back the Night Planning Committee would like to thank everyone who attended and volunteered at this year’s event. If you are interested in receiving information about next year’s Take Back the Night, or are interested in participating on the planning committee please contact SAVIS of Halton at 905.825.3622.