On Saturday, July 28, hundreds of Cape Bretoners will take to the street in an enormous outpouring of support for a Take Back the Night Concert and March, putting their voices together and calling for an end to violence against girls and women in our community.
Many organizations and Cape Bretoners have expressed concern and sadness at a recent increase in violence against women in the CBRM and the overall high incidence of violence perpetrated against women in Cape Breton. So we’re taking to the streets with the biggest Cape Breton Take Back the Night Concert and March in over a decade. Women, men and children will gather at the Charlotte Street court house at 7:30pm and take to the streets to send out a loud and clear message: The women, men and children of Cape Breton say no to violence against girls and women and don’t want to be silent about the prevalence of this violence anymore.
This event is aimed to educate about violence against women in Cape Breton, to honour and remember women who have experienced violence in any way, and to continue the movement for the elimination of violence against women.
The March will go along the Esplanade towards Byng Avenue and finish at the bandshell in Wentworth Park with a free concert featuring local musicians including Take Note World Drummers; Matt Earhart; Alicia Penney; Yvette Rogers; Wendy Markey & Charlie Clements; Maura Lea Morykot; Erin Phillips; Jo-Anne Rolls, Shelley Allen & James Munroe; Donnie Calabrese & Merlin Clarke; and Kevin P. Hayes. Lynda Ceresne & Lynn Gallant Blackburn will addrees the crowd, there will be food prepared by local restaurants Allegro, Flavor, and The Red Diner, and drinks donated by Wentworth Perk and Scotsburn Dairy. The night will end with a candlelight vigil to honour and remember all the women of Cape Breton who have died violently and who are living with violence, sexual abuse and assault.
This event will demonstrate that although there is a high incidence of violence against women in Cape Breton, there are also a lot of people in Cape Breton who refuse to be silent about violence against women and want to work towards making our homes, our streets, and our community a safer place for girls and women.
Take Back the Night is a march in protest of sexual violence and assault against women. It is a rebellion against the fear that many women experience when walking alone at night. This march is for the victims of sexual assault, for all women of all ages who have ever felt frightened just by being outside of their home at some time in the day or night when somebody says or does something that leaves them feeling unsafe. By providing education, support, and action against sexual violence, girls and women gain tools to speak out against abuse. When people speak out, scream, and refuse to be silent anymore, there is the chance of changing lives and reducing the incidence of violence against women. In Sydney, the CBU Women’s Centre used to run a Take Back the Night March in the late 1990s over several years. These marches brought a lot of people together to make the streets in our community safer for women. It is hoped that this year’s Take Back the Night will spark enough interest and community support to make this an annual event.
Take Back the Night first appeared in Europe in 1976 and has continued throughout the world as a sign of empowerment for women, men and children. These marches happen across Canada, the United States and in Europe.