Women, men, and children walk together for annual Take Back the Night march

Sari Green/Courier Women, men, and children gathered at the Border Arena in St. Stephen on Friday evening for the annual Take Back the Night march. This annual event, which puts an emphasis on ending domestic and sexual violence, is held by the Charlotte County Abuse Prevention Network to promote awareness and education on sexual violence.

St. Stephen – A small crowd gathered at the Border Arena parking lot in St. Stephen on Friday evening for the annual “Take Back the Night” walk. This is an international event that protests sexual violence. Carol Lynn Gamblin of the Charlotte County Abuse Prevention Network said this is an effort to create more awareness around sexual violence.

“People don’t want to look at it,” said Gamblin. “People don’t want to talk about it. It’s uncomfortable. It’s horrible. But, looking away doesn’t make it go away.”

The Take Back the Night march allows members of the community to protest violence against women, with an emphasis on sexual violence (against both sexes). This event offers awareness and education on this issue.

Gamblin said the walk here is a bit different than it is in other communities. Elsewhere, it is only girls and women who walk, while men stand on the sidewalks to support them. Since sexual violence is a problem for both genders, Gamblin encourages men to take part in the Take Back the Night Walk alongside women. She said her organization, and those who take part in the walk each year, believe that sexual violence knows no gender.

“It’s not just sexual violence,” said Gamblin. “It’s violence against women, and for that matter, domestic violence and sexual violence against men and boys. We recognize that they’re also victims and survivors, and we have to honour that. It’s a community problem, and it needs a community solution.”

The group, which consisted of women, men, and children, marched from the Border Arena to St. Stephen’s University, where they met for hot chocolate and a talk afterwards. Throughout the march, they could be heard chanting, “shatter the silence, stop the violence, take back the night”.

The Charlotte County Abuse Prevention Network is committed to networking and sharing information throughout Charlotte County about violence and abuse, both domestic and sexual. They work to increase public awareness, focusing on violence against women, working towards the prevention of violence and abuse in our communities and neighbourhoods.

sarigreen@stcroixcourier.ca