The aim of our event in York Region is multi-faceted:
- to speak out against and bring awareness to gender-based and sexual violence;
- to reclaim safety in our communities — no matter the time of day;
- to create a safer and more supportive space for survivors to come together with fellow survivors and allies; and
- to be visible, invite everyone to join the movement, build solidarity, and speak out against injustice in our communities.
Sexual violence is horrifically common in our communities and we must take a stand. We know that in Canada, at least 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men will experience sexual violence in their lifetimes. We also know that members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community are at least three times as likely to experience sexual violence. Disabled people are at least twice as likely. Black and other racialized people are at least twice as likely. Indigenous people are at least three times as likely.
Many of us who are at higher risk of violence have adapted and fought to cope with this risk by staying in groups, avoiding being out alone or late, and watching out for each other. We cope and protect each other, though we shouldn’t have to, and we are often blamed for the violence used against us nonetheless.
Most of us who have experienced gender-based and sexual violence have experienced it at the hands of intimate partners, friends, and others we already knew. Through Take Back the Night, we tell our communities that it is not enough for us to reclaim the streets or the night, but we will reclaim our safety everywhere and make it clear that we will not stand down.