Women shouted and walked through the streets of downtown Prince George as a part of the 27th annual Take Back the Night March.
Around 50 women and supporters gathered in the Canada Games Plaza this evening (Sept. 19) as the march began with speeches and a performance by the Khast’an Drummers.
“We are here to remember those women who did not survive violence, for those who have endured violence and for the protection of women from all violence,” said Lheidli T’enneh Elder Kenora Stewart.
"Tonight we say to those who would do violence against women. We will not tolerate any kind of violence to our women any longer. We are stronger, we are wiser and we are through being targeted."
The first Take Back The Night March in Prince George was held in 1992, but similar marches have been held throughout North America and Europe since the 1970s.
“They rose spontaneously in different cities and towns as women rose up against the worldwide harassment, rape and murdered and women and against the idea that those horrific acts were the results of women themselves,” explained Dr. Jacqueline Holler who spoke at the march.
“Women were told that male sexual violence was an eternal reality like death or taxes. Women couldn’t change it, they just had to try to stay out of its way.”
Holler is a professor at UNBC and coordinator of the women’s and gender studies programs as well as a member of the leadership team for the Northern Feminist Institute for Research and Evaluation at the university.
“Let us march to honour those missing and murdered loved ones and for all missing and murdered women and for those calls for justice in the knowledge that Indigenous women and girls are still suffering disproportionately from sexual and gender-based violence,” said Holler.
“Let also march in the knowledge that sexual assault rates have scarcely budged in the two decades in this country especially in the north.”
After a performance of three songs by the Khast’an Drummers, participants took to the streets shouting phrases like “No more violence! No more hate” and the paused at the courthouse for a moment of silence before continuing back to the Canada Games Plaza.
The march was organized in partnership by the Take Back the Night Committee and other community partners.