Samantha Corbett has taken part in the walk for the past four years, as she says it’s an important step to acknowledging and dealing with violence in our community.
“I think it’s important that we build awareness,” she says. “Part of really addressing the issues that are underneath why violence happens against women is first we need to acknowledge that violence happens against women and children, so that’s why I take part.”
Along with friends, she marched with her husband and her mother-in-law. There was a high turnout of men and youth from the Fort St. John Friendship Centre at this year’s event, which Corbett says is encouraging as it’s not only a women’s issue.
“Gender-based violence affects the entire community: women, men, boys and girls and each person plays a role in perpetuating the cycle of violence in the community or helping to break it,” she maintains. “I am not surprised to see more men and youth attending Take Back the Night each year because they have an important role and voice in addressing the issue and educating the community on how it affects us all.”
The local march is part of a worldwide campaign against violence against women. Although Fort St. John is a comparably smaller community, Corbett argues that’s even more reason to raise awareness.
“Rural and remote communities generally have less access to resources that address the needs of those witnessing and experiencing gender-based violence,” she explains. “In small and rural communities it is typically the community that advocates and supports itself in creating opportunities, discussions and resources for residents in need. TBTN in FSJ is one of the ways that the community has come together to address the issues and concerns surrounding gender-based violence in our community.”
The event is put on by the Fort St. John Women’s Resource Society, which is currently running The Peace Project, a three year initiative to reduce violence against women and children in the community that was launched in 2012.