Bay St. George Women Take Back the Night

img_0779Women from the community gathered at the steps of Golden G in Stephenville on the evening of Friday, Sept. 16, 2016 in recognition of Sexual Violence Awareness Week. Take Back the Night Walk is an annual event organized by the Bay St. George Status of Women’s Council in partnership with the Bay St. George Coalition to End Violence.

Armed with colorful signage, and led down Main Street by Stephenville Search and Rescue, women of all ages, groups and organizations, walked for independence and to end the fear of walking at night. This walk, held on the third Friday of September, delivers the powerful statement that women should be able to walk the streets without any man needed to protect them.20160916_200119_hdr

With pick up locations along the route at Coleman’s and Kindale Library,  nearly 70 women marched into LA Bown, welcomed and honored by the St. George’s Drumming Circle.

20160916_193904_hdrWhile the walk is for women only, the celebration event following is open to everyone to support strong women in the community. During the welcome, Sherrie Chaulk, co-chair of BSG Status of Women’s Council spoke of the importance of the walk and how to show support during this day and every day towards equality and women. “It is a chance to publicly celebrate women’s solidarity.” She went on to say that the walk is for women only to “symbolically underline that women will not be passive and accept the violence against them but will instead speak out and take action for change. ”

Those in attendance were invited to visit the Faceless Dolls project; a project headed by the Newfoundland 20160916_205514_hdrAboriginal Women’s Network (NAWN) A quilt of 109 beautifully colored dolls, each honoring the life of a woman or child who died at the hands of violence, was displayed in the hall. Cards describing their lives and the manner in which they were cut short sat on a table where memorial candles were lit.

The Clothesline Project, spearheaded by the Western Coalition to End Violence, showcased colored tee-shirts with messages of strength, survival and 20160916_201928_hdrdetermination throughout the building.

With musical entertainment provided by the cultural drumming circle and Kim Nippard, everyone enjoyed an evening of camaraderie and delicious bbq hotdogs and hamburgers.

Congratulations to all organizers, participants and supporters who made this event another success. Here is to breaking the silence and celebrating strong women everywhere.