The South Peace Community Resources Society (SPCRS) is inviting residents to take part in the march, which starts in the parking lot of the Senior Citizens Hall and makes its way to Kin Park. Take Back the Night is meant to be symbolic of women taking back freedom and power from the violence, physical and otherwise, that seeks to take that away from them.
"It’s a symbolic gesture of reclaiming a sense of safety and autonomy, not only in public places, where we should be able to feel safe, but also in our lives in general," said Karen Mitton, a community-based victim services coordinator for SPCRS, and an organizer of the event. "Also, theres that feeling when a woman is walking through a park at night or going through parking lot to get to her vehicle at night or something like that, that can be a different experience for a women than it might be for a man, and it’s a way to acknowledge that night time should be safe, and we should be able to do those things and not be afraid."
Take Back the Night is based off an event originating in Belgium in 1976, and soon afterwards was copied in the United States and Canada.
Mitton said while it is important for women to come out and participate in the event, it is equally significant for men to come out and support them. Dawson Creek has supported the event for many years, and at the last event in 2009, men were formally invited to take part in the march.
"It can't be stressed enough how important it is for men to be involved with this," she said. "Men are part of the solution. The vast majority of men are not trying to oppress us, so doesn’t it make more sense for us to stand together for us to stand together, to be united in that cause for equality."
She said before the march, signs and cards with words from a chant will be passed to participants who want to take part in that way. In a symbolic gesture, the women and men taking part will start off in different groups and start the march in different directions, but will meet up again half way through the march, symbolizing both the autonomy and unity of women in their relationships with men.
Following the march, a barbeque will be held at 7 p.m., with entertainment, refreshments, and some prizes included. Mitton encouraged families to bring their small children out to the event as they can enjoy the playground at the park following the march.
More information on the event can be obtained by contacting Karen Mitton or Darren Johnson at 250-782-9174.
In the interest of full disclosure, Mile 0 City notes its reporter, Matthew Bains, is a director on the board of the South Peace Community Resources Society.