Women Taking Back the Night – November 19th in Thunder Bay

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Sleeping GiantTHUNDER BAY – Lakehead University’s Gender Issues Centre presents Take Back the Night on Friday, November 19, 2010. The event raises awareness about violence against women, and will be taking place at the Castlegreen Community Centre.

Doors will open at 6pm, with programming starting at 6:30pm and there will be: speakers from a variety of local organizations, a keynote address from Member of Parliament Irene Mathyssen, the NDP critic of Status of Women Canada, a women’s Take Back the Night march, and the commencement of the White Ribbon Campaign for male allies. Afterwards, there will be refreshments and local entertainment. Everyone is welcome to attend and there is no cost for this event.

The event often garners much attention due to its exclusive focus on women; especially during the march which does not welcome male company.  This is quite intentional, as Take Back the Night is in honour of a woman’s right to walk anywhere, at any time, free of fear and violence.

“Safety in Thunder Bay has been a hot-button issue both in the recent election and in the daily lives of Thunder Bay residents”, said David Ivany, the Gender Issues Centre Director. “With this march we are looking to bring much needed attention to the particular safety concerns of Thunder Bay women. It Is important to take the time to speak out and get active about violence against women.”

The Gender Issues Centre has previously held Take Back the Night marches in the Simpson street area and in downtown Port Arthur. The march has moved to the County  Park / Castlegreen area in recognition that violence happens in all areas of Thunder Bay and to bring attention to recent acts of violence in the area. The Clothesline Project, which is a medium for women to visually express experiences of violence, will also be on display during the event.

For men, there will be the commencement of the White Ribbon Campaign. This will include a discussion forum about how men can actively work against violence in support of women. According to Ivany, an active male ally, “the men’s discussion group allows dedicated allies and those who are uniformed about gendered to strategize around how to be effective allies to women and respect their right to feel safe and be independent.”

For more information about Take Back the Night you can contact the Gender Issues Centre by phone at 343-8879, or through email at gic@lusu.ca.

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