Women Unite to Take Back the Night

Imagine walking down a dark alley at night, quickly making your way home, overcome by fear while constantly looking back to make sure you’re not being followed. There are times you walk, and other times when you start speeding up and even running in order to get yourself to safety. Thoughts flooding your mind, “oh please do not let any male be following me from behind”; “please keep me safe”; “just a few minutes more to safety.” “Why did I go out alone”….? “When will this be over?”; “Will I make it home safely tonight?”

This is an all too familiar lived experience for women globally when darkness descends with its accompanying fear of being violated by strangers in the darkness of the night. A terrifying fear that perpetuates the myth held by society that sexual predators are strangers and sexual assaults occur at night.

According to a report by the Sexual Assault Care Centre at Sunnybrook Hospital 80% of sexual assaults occur at home; 49% of which are in broad daylight.

According to Statistics Canada:
• 51% of all Canadian women have experienced at least one incident of sexual or physical violence
• Close to 60% of these women have survived more than one incident of violence
• 2 out of 3 women experience sexual assault in Canada

The idea of the night for many women and survivors is a metaphor for sexual violence being the “darkness” that cloaks all aspects of their lives in silence, guilt and shame.

In spite of the pandemic numbers of women experiencing sexual violence globally, the community remains silent; sexual violence is considered a taboo.

Survivors are told:
• “Don’t say anything”
• “What will others say? What will the community say?”
• “It’s over” or “Let it go and move on with your life?”

On September 17, 2010 the Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis Centre of Peel (SA/RCCP) is hosting its 16th Annual Take Back the Night March and Rally in collaboration with Community Partner agencies: Interim Place, Family Services of Peel, Peel Youth Village (YMCA), Chrysler Canada CAW 1285, Youth Substance Abuse Program (YMCA), Peel HIV Aids Network (PHAN), African Community Services of Peel, India Rainbow Community Services of peel, Catholic Crosscultural Services, Region of Peel and the Peel District School Board at Lincoln M. Alexander Secondary School at 3545 Morning Star Dr in Malton from 6 pm – 9 pm.

This year The SA/RCCP is pleased to celebrate its partnership with Lincoln M. Alexander Secondary, the only public high school in Malton, as it involves the young students in the prevention and elimination of sexual violence. The SA/RCCP is proud to involve the youth to become active agents in the elimination of Sexual Violence as “Young women between the ages of 16-24 are 4 times are more likely to be sexually assaulted”.