March and vigil held to Take Back the Night

EGANVILLE - Shrill whistles pierced the overcast skies in Eganville on the evening of September 25. About 60 women gathered near the tourist information centre with placards, ready to march around the town to ‘Take Back the Night’. We have the right to walk at night; ‘No’ is a complete sentence and End rape culture were among some of the messages on the placards, glow sticks and whistles provided by the march organizers, the Womens’ Sexual Assault Centre of Renfrew County (WSAC). “We are here to speak about sexual violence,” CAO JoAnne Brooks said. Before the march began, Brooks shared some statistics with those gathered around her on the crowded car park, at the centre of the village. Brooks said one in three women will be sexually assaulted in their lives. “Each year in Canada, it is estimated that 460,000 women and girls experience sexual violence. Just take that in for a minute,” said Brooks, pausing. “460,000. That’s 126 per day - in this country. Can you imagine if this was any other crime? Anything else? Can you imagine if a police officer was wounded in this country, 126 in one day. There would be an uproar, a crying out.” She said it is estimated that out of every thousand sexual assaults, 33 are reported to the police. “Twenty nine of those are recorded as a crime, 12 have charges laid, six are prosecuted and three lead to convictions,” she explained. “Is it surprising that women will never report what happened to them to anyone, let alone the police?” To read the full story, pick up a copy of the October 3, 2018 Valley Gazette.