A large group of residents turned out to show their support for the annual Take Back the Night walk in Golden.
Director and Outreach Co-ordinator for the Golden Women’s Resource Centre Linley McLean spoke to those in attendance before the walked started
“I just want to say a few words about why we’re here. Take Back the Night has been an on-going International demonstration to raise awareness about violence against women and the right that everyone has to live without fear. Tonight, we will be walking together as part of the effort to end violence within our community as well as around the world,” she said.
McLean also spoke about violence towards women in Canada, in B.C., and in the community.
“Right now I want to talk about the women I work with who experience violence. I can’t say much because of confidentiality, but I can tell you that violence against women happens here, in Golden, around us. Whether it’s violence within a relationship, sexual assault, or harassment. I have sat down with women, I have heard their stories. I have comforted crying women. I have helped women learn about their rights, and I have assured women that the violence they experienced is not their fault.”
She went on to add that she was sharing this point of view because, “these women are living in Golden. They are friends, sisters, co-workers, lovers, wives, mothers, daughters, neighbours. They are part of the fabric of this community. And they feel scared. They feel alone.”
In her speech McLean said the theme, “Together we can make a difference,” was a way to let people who are not safe, know that they are not alone and that people do care.
“There is power in numbers and tonight our group makes a statement. Together we’re saying violence, homophobia, and sexism are not okay,” she said. “And that we want our community to be a safe one, where people can thrive. Together we are stronger. If we are going to make a difference, it cannot be the Women’s Centre alone saying things need to change. We need you, all of you, if things are going to change.”