Women, children and trans-identified individuals rallied for their right to walk safely alone at night, without fear of harassment or violence.
The annual Take Back the Night event was organized by Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Services, or SAVIS for short. It took place on Thursday, Sept. 20. in the Knox Church at 89 Dunn St. in Oakville.
Use this gallery to browse some clips of Halton’s 2018 Take Back the Night.
When it comes to Halton’s sexual assault centres, SAVIS is one of few. Walter Henry has been working there for two years, as a male ally coordinator. SAVIS’ game plan is to change public perception of sexual violence, and to change the lives of survivors.
“It’s very important for us to bring awareness of sexual assault in any community, whether it’s a million people or a thousand people,” Henry said. The organization serves clients in Oakville, Acton, Burlington, Georgetown and Milton.
More from The Observer: East York principal charged with assault.
“In the Halton community, Take Back the Night is growing,” Henry said, explaining how the awareness event has more attendees every year. He wants to see other local organizations merge their awareness events with SAVIS’, and hopes that soon, Take Back the Night will become a major feature on the Oakville calendar.
Amanda Rheaume, a Juno-nominated singer-songwriter, performed at the event. Her set list included her song “Red Dress”, which is dedicated to missing and murdered Indigenous women — Rheaume herself is Métis. She also premiered a new song, with the working title “Get Free”.
“There’s so much power when people physically get together to walk and demonstrate… in the same space together, walking for the same cause,” Rheaume said.
Watch the full interview with Amanda Rheaume below.
“I was really excited that Take Back the Night also included a march,” Rheaume said, “It was like, ‘Let’s get out and walk, and be visible’ because specifically with sexual violence and violence against women, it’s a struggle.”
Demonstrators begin the Take Back the Night march on Sept. 20. // Fran Mbadiwe, Toronto Observer
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For more information regarding sexual violence, visit SAVIS here and check out this crime widget from Halton Regional Police.