“No matter what we wear, no matter where we go, yes means yes and no means no.”
A group of around 20 women marched through downtown on Wednesday afternoon to raise awareness of violence in the community, not only against women but against everyone.
As a registered part of the Take Back the Night movement, the Campbell River Women’s Resource Centre will be holding Take Back the Night walks twice a year, in the Spring and the Fall.
The message, is that people have the right to move freely in their communities, day and night, without fear or threat of harassment, violence and sexual assault.
That threat is very real in Campbell River, especially for vulnerable populations. Jodi Boyd, executive director of the women’s resource centre, said in the past six months she has talked to multiple homeless women who have been sexually assaulted.
She said they are unable to identify their attackers because of the darkness and they will not report the violence to the police.
The women who marched gathered afterwards in the resource centre’s Rose Harbour Common Room.
Though the event called for action to change society’s attitudes towards violence, much of the conversation centred around protecting themselves.
One woman said she no longer walks at night because she feels unsafe. Others talked about carrying pepper spray or keys in their fists. There was discussion about wearing nail polish that detects drugs in drinks and other technologies that are making it easier for women to protect themselves.
But everyone agreed, there is a long way to go.
“No more silence, end the violence.”