Hundreds come out to raise awareness of sexual and domestic violence
Kristen Einarson, CONTRIBUTOR
Take Back the Night is a movement that brings awareness to sexual and domestic violence.
Bre Woligroski, who is on the organizing committee, said she connects with the history and cultural relevance of Take Back the Night.
“It’s still active in 30 countries around the world,” Woligroski said. “It’s really clear that (sexual and domestic violence) is a problem — it’s global. We’re still not there, and there is still violence.”
The theme of this year’s Take Back the Night was Take Up Space.
“We thought that was a really good time in our city and our world to talk about taking up space and whose voices are heard and who is being visible,” said Kristen Wiltshire, also on the organizing committee.
“This world and this city can be a place where everyone can be safe and exactly who they are and be loved and empowered for that,” added Wiltshire. The march took place Oct. 20 and started at the Indian and Métis Friendship Centre of Winnipeg.
The Mama Bear Clan kicked off the march with some members walking for their first time at Take Back the Night.
Elder Leslie Spillett started the ceremonies with a speech urging people to take action and participate.
“Women (and children) are dying on the streets of Winnipeg,” Spillett said. “We deserve to have a safe place for them to come home to.”
Erin Schwartz, who marshalled the event, said she isn’t sure whether or not the event has grown in size.
“I’ve noticed I know more people every year, which speaks to the fact that communities are created within events like these,” she said.
Woligroski agrees there is a sense of community in an event like this.
“When we start the march, I always get this feeling inside of me. It’s like, this is it — we are all together and we can do anything,” she said.
Woligroski said there are many resources for those wishing to speak out about their experiences with sexual violence.
“Wherever you are, whatever you’re interested in, whether it be making art or writing or speaking or just sitting in a circle and listening, Winnipeg is really rich for that,” she said.
Klinic Community Health has a sexual assault crisis line that can be contacted toll-free at 204-786-8631.