Taking back the night in Penticton

The community of Penticton is rallying together for Take Back the Night on Sept. 24.

The community of Penticton is rallying together for Take Back the Night on Sept. 24.

The purpose of Take Back the Night is to raise awareness about violence in all forms, to take a visible stand against violence and to show our support for survivors.

“As a community we refuse to be silent about any forms of violence including domestic violence. We all have the right to be safe, live without fear, and support each other through healing. This rally is a sign of hope, healing and empowerment for all those who have hurt,” said Amberlee Erdmann, resource development co-ordinator for the South Okanagan Victim Assistance Society (SOVAS).

Take Back the Night is an international social awareness event that speaks out against violence. It is also known as Reclaim the Night, which originally began to raise awareness of the violence and fear women face walking late at night. This social action event has evolved to include violence prevention and awareness on the streets and in people’s homes. While organizers said it is important to recognize that both men and women experience violence and abuse, predominately women are at higher risk for assault.

“It is so great to see so many local organizations collaborating together to take a stand against violence and to reclaim the night,” said Lorraine Renyard, SOVAS agency co-ordinator.

Renyard welcomes people to gather before the march to make posters. There will be poster supplies available at Gyro Park from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. The march will start at 7 p.m. at Gyro Park and will proceed throughout the Penticton downtown area and end up back at Gyro Park.

“There will be an opportunity for the participants to share what Take Back the Night means to them at the end of the march,” said Renyard.

This event is organized in partnership with South Okanagan Victim Assistance Society (SOVAS), South Okanagan Women In Need Society, (SOWINS), Penticton and Area Access Society (ACCESS), Penticton & District Community Resources Society (PDCRS), Penticton and District Hospice Society, South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services (SOICS), Pathways Addiction Resource Centre, Okanagan Nation Transition Emergency Housing (ONTEH), South Okanagan Similkameen Brain Injury Society (SOSBIS), Birthright, The YES Project, and the Okanagan College Women’s Resource Centre (OCWRC).