Despite the rain, women and allies came out to march last night for Take Back the Night.
This annual event, by the Fort St. John Women’s Resource Society, is part of an international effort to reclaim walking at night safely – not just for women, but for men as well.
This is not the only event happening this week to shine the spotlight on violence against women.
Sisters in Spirit, a vigil for Missing and Murdered Indigenous, is taking place tonight at the Fort St. John Friendship Centre.
Sherry Marshall, Chairwoman on the Fort St. John Women’s Resource Society board of directors, says there is violence in the city happening at night, and affecting all kinds of people.
According to Marshall, the community will change when people ‘start looking out for our neighbours.’
“If you are witnessing violence of any kind, you need to make a phone call,” she said. “Make a phone call to the police. Make somebody else aware that this is happening.”
Women walking alone at night seem to be targeted, said Marshall, regardless of their ‘walk of life.’
“I know a lot of people in the community think that it just happens to high risk woman in the community, but it doesn’t,” she continued. “There’s no sign on us that says where we come from.”
Marshall says allies can help combat the issue by being better role models to youth in the community – especially men for younger boys.
However, youth do seem to be stepping up and taking on the issue themselves.
“They’re more of a voice than us as adults are, and they are going to change us and we have to go with it.”
Even last year, more and more teenagers appear to be involved in Take Back the Night – and Marshall is happy about that.