PHOTOS: Take Back The Night
Sunday September 25th, 2016
Posted at 7:22am
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Windsor’s yearly Take Back The Night event took place downtown on Saturday night, with roughly 250 people gathering at Dieppe Park for the kickoff rally before marching through the core.
Take Back The Night is an international event that looks to end sexual violence through awareness and bringing communities together. Rallies, marches, and vigils have been held annually around the globe since the 1970’s.
Many of the speakers at the Windsor rally focused on why events like this are still important, and a number of reasons were pointed out.
For one, women’s shelters in Windsor are constantly over one hundred per cent capacity, and the fact that difference in the level of service provided by municipal shelters is so far beneath that of those run by the provincial and federal governments.
Windsor-Tecumseh and Essex MPs Cheryl Hardcastle and Tracey Ramsey were on site, the latter of whom promised to take concerns raised at the rally back to Ottawa with the goal of initiating a plan to help women on a federal level.
Ramsey also hopes to see more women elected in Canadian politics “to ensure these issues are brought to the table.”
The keynote speaker of the night brought an audible gasp from the crowd when she was announced.
The survivor of the now infamous Ben Johnson rape case, which began in 2013 and is still making local news, was brave enough to stand in front of a couple hundred onlookers to spread the message that “the absence of ‘no’ is not ‘yes,’” and to ask “why are we always cautioning the victim?”
This speech was the perfect end to the rally and start to the march, as men and women began to circle through downtown cheering and chanting. Spectators from patios, balconies, and cars cheered and honked in support as the group moved past with its police escort.
The march ended at Maiden Lane, where a block party featuring free ice cream from Buuntz & Co was offered to all participants while everyone celebrated a successful event.