Due to the current COVID protocols the 29th annual Take Back the Night march will be held virtually for the very first time, Starting on September 17 through to September 24, follow the Take Back the Night Facebook page for daily postings which will include speakers, information, and community postings of walks and protest photos.
Take Back the Night is an event to honour the memory of the women who have not survived violence; to celebrate those who have; and to demand an end to all forms of violence against women. Take Back the Night is open to and welcomes all allies.
“While this year we may not be able to walk physically together, we will be united through our words, actions and fighting spirit which demands justice and safer streets in our community,” say organizers. “Many local organizations share this sentiment and have come together to sponsor and help organize this event.”
History of Take Back the Night: The first Take Back the Night on record occurred at The International Tribunal on Crimes against Women in 1976 in Brussels, Belgium. After the Tribunal, Reclaim the Night arose in Rome in 1976 where 16,000 rapes were recorded. West Germany and England soon followed suit. Australia and India also held events. Across the Atlantic, New York held the first North American march for women in 1976; however, it wasn’t until 1977 that the slogan “Take Back the Night” was introduced by Anne Pride as the title of a memorial she read at an anti-violence rally in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At that time, Canada was also experiencing many cases of sexual violence against women. As a result, Canadian women held their first Take Back the Night event in 1978 in Vancouver, British Columbia, organized by the “Fly-By-Night Collective”. Vancouver Rape Relief held Take Back the Night marches from 1980-1985. Shortly thereafter, in 1992, the first march in Prince George was organized.
Why Take Back the Night? A woman walks alone down a dark, deserted street. With every shadow she sees, and every sound she hears, her pounding heart flutters and skips a beat. She hurries her pace as she sees her destination become closer. She is almost there. She reaches the front door, goes inside, collects herself, and moves on forgetting, at least for tonight, the gripping fear that momentarily enveloped her life. This scene could have occurred anywhere last night, last year, or even 100 years ago. That women have faced – and continue to face – anxiety when walking alone at night is totally unacceptable. That is why Take Back the Night began and why it’s so important to show our determination to end that fear and any violence against women once and for all.