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Take Back the Night 2023 will be held in person on September 14, 2023 at 6:00pm in Aurora Town Park (49 Wells St.). We’ll be meeting at the bandshell before we start to march at 6:45pm!
For those who can’t join us in person this year, we’re planning to share a video recap after the event. Despite our hopes, we won’t be able to livestream TBTN this year.
For information about TBTN and Aurora Town Park’s accessibility (including location details, parking, washrooms, what to expect, and more), see our accessibility page.
Right here! Our planned schedule is:
- 6:00pm — Gather at Aurora Town Park’s bandshell, visit community resource booths
- 6:30pm — Welcome and kick-off from our emcees
- 6:45pm — March, chant, and take back the night!
- 7:30pm — Return to the bandshell for survivor speakers and more
- 8:45pm — Candlelight vigil
- 9:00pm — Goodnight!
Our march is about 1km long and will start at the bandshell in Aurora Town Park (49 Wells St.) and head north on Wells St., turn left (west) onto Wellington St. W., turn left (south) onto Yonge St., turn left (east) onto Mosley St., and return to the bandshell.
Marchers using mobility aids or walking at a slower pace are encouraged to join near the front of the march to help us keep a slow, accessible pace!
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.
Take Back the Night (TBTN) is a global movement dating back to at least 1975 that protests gender-based violence and more specifically, sexual violence, intimate partner violence, and human trafficking.
When we look back at Take Back the Night in York Region, it’s important to mention that the earliest Take Back the Night protests we are aware of took place in Indigenous communities on Georgina Island. Since then, the event was held in Newmarket for many years before being held in Richmond Hill in 2019 and Aurora in 2023; all three locations are significantly more difficult to access for those living on Georgina Island.
Indigenous women are at least three times more likely to experience sexual violence than the average non-Indigenous woman. Indigenous people are more often ignored or harmed by police when reporting sexual and gender-based violence and face higher rates of re-victimization after surviving violence. Indigenous people’s experiences of violence are compounded by experiences of systemic and institutional violence that are part of the legacy of colonialism and the result of continued racism and genocide.
As a planning committee, we recognize that the appropriation of this event in York Region was colonial and unjust; we are working to make steps towards reconciliation and centring Indigenous voices in our events.
For more information on the general history of Take Back the Night internationally, check out the Take Back the Night Foundation.
We welcome everyone at Take Back the Night York Region!
We invite community members of any and all (or no) genders. And yes, to be clear, that does include men — whether they are survivors or not.
Our TBTN focuses on gender-based violence, which is violence that targets people with marginalized genders (e.g., women, trans people, gender non-conforming people, etc.). The umbrella of gender-based violence can include sexual violence, intimate partner violence, and human sex trafficking, among others. While these kinds of violence are disproportionately experienced by marginalized genders, there are survivors of every/no gender. We do not want survivors, no matter their gender, to feel unwelcome or like they must disclose their survivor status in order to participate.
As a committee, we also realize that overcoming gender-based violence cannot happen if we do not include everyone in the process. This is not just an issue for people with marginalized genders. This is a community issue — a human rights issue! We must stand up as a community and make it clear that we won’t tolerate this anymore.
We hope that more men and non-women join our fight against gender-based violence. By standing beside us and against patriarchal violence, they can encourage even more men to join us and model a more helpful and healthy model of masculinity for men and boys.
We hope to see you there!
As a committee, we have worked hard to be inclusive and representative or York Region, from our committee members to our event speakers and performers. We are always working towards building an anti-racist and anti-oppressive space and event. We unequivocally welcome feedback and critique on our approaches and when we’ve missed the mark.
As Take Back the Night rallies and protests against the prevalence of gender-based and sexual violence, we want to make it clear this also includes violence against sex workers. We stand in solidarity with sex workers, day and night.
In line with our efforts towards a safer space, there will be no police presence at Take Back the Night. We will have volunteer marshals along our route and for road-crossings during the march. We also have volunteers and committee members available for conflict resolution or de-escaltion when necessary, though this is not usually an issue at TBTN-YR. Other volunteers and committee members will also be available for emotional support.
Our committee is working hard to make this year’s TBTN as accessible as possible.
Aurora Town Park has 8 accessible parking spots and all paths (including the bandshell audience area) are paved with small bricks. The onsite, gendered washrooms have a large accessible stall each, but the washrooms’ entrance doors are not powered/automatic.
See more accessibility details (including location details, parking, washrooms, what to expect, and more) on our accessibility page.
If you have any accessibility concerns or questions, we would love to hear from you. You can send us an email or give us a call at (905) 895-3646.
We will have bottled water and pre-packaged snacks available after the march! We’re planning to include nut-free and gluten-free items. There is a water bottle refill station in the park next to the washrooms available as well.
Our chants might change or be supplemented, but here are our usual chants:
Whose body? My body.
Whose business? My business.
My body, my business. My body, it’s my business
Claim our bodies / Claim our rights
Take a stand / Take Back the Night!
1, 2, 3, 4 / We won’t take it anymore
5, 6, 7, 8 / Stop the violence / Stop the hate
Yes means yes / No means no
Whatever we wear / Where ever we go!
Our event is planned by the Take Back the Night Planning Committee, made up of community organizations and volunteers. To see who is sitting on this year’s Planning Committee, visit our Contributors page!
Take Back the Night is not a core-funded initiative. All funds are raised!
If you are interested in offering a contribution to TBTN, please know all donations over $20 in value can be issued a tax receipt. Feel free to see more about how to donate, send us a message, or give us a call at (905) 895-3646!