What does Take Back the Night mean to me?
A world where I can walk home alone at night after school or after work, without fearing what might be hiding in the shadows. A world where I can wear whatever I want without living in fear of inviting unwanted attention. A world where I can be a woman and that can mean whatever I want it to.
Take Back the Night means that and so much more. This event unites people all over the world for one night to stand up against the fear, oppression and violence that women across the world experience everyday simply because they are women. It gives women a voice in a world where they are constantly being silenced. This night is an opportunity to reclaim the streets, to become empowered and to raise awareness.
For over the past two decades, Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis has collaborated with the wider community to make this very important event a reality each and every year. This year, the Take Back the Night march and rally will take place on Thursday, September 25 at 6:30 – 9:00pm. We will meet at Marianne’s Park and march through downtown to City Hall. The park itself was dedicated to Marianne Goulden in 1993 by the city of Guelph. Marianne was one of the first women to stay at the Women in Crisis shelter. She became a volunteer soon after and eventually a staff member for Women in Crisis. On January 21, 1992 Marianne Goulden was stabbed to death by her common law partner, Timothy Weldon, in front of her teenage daughter.
Violence affects each and every one of us. It can impact us directly if we experience or witness it ourselves. It can impact us indirectly when we watch our friends, loved ones or even acquaintances live through it. And it shapes who we are as women when we are taught from a very young age to not go out after dark, to not dress a certain way, to live and act in a manner that will keep us safe. What is safety if we live in constant fear? What is safety if your partner is the one perpetrating the violence against you? What is safety if our children, our future, continue to witness acts of violence in the home?
I invite you to answer the question then:
What does Take Back the Night mean to you?