Penticton women take back the night

Women, children and men marched downtown Wednesday night to fight violence against women

It was equal parts solemn and empowering for women in Penticton Wednesday night, as a few dozen people gathered in Gyro Park to Take Back the Night.

The annual walk, organized by the South Okanagan Victim Assistance Society and the South Okanagan Women In Need Society, brought mostly women, though several children and a few men showed their support.

“Something exciting that we do every single year is women take to the streets and we take back the night, something that a lot of us feel very strongly about,” said SOWINS executive director Debbie Scarborough.

Related: Kelowna takes back the night

The event is in support of women who have been victims of violence outside at night, and demands safety for women in the streets at night.

“You could probably interview 100 women anywhere from all demographics, and I would say probably 98 out of 100 would say they wouldn’t feel safe walking the streets, for example, at four o’clock in the morning,” Scarborough said.

“Of course, if we do and we have the misfortune of getting assaulted, it’s like ‘what were you wearing?’”

Scarborough scolded the societal tendency to point to the clothing a woman was wearing at the time of a sexual assault.

“If you were running and you were wearing shorts and maybe a short shirt because it’s hot, we get, ‘Well why were you wearing that?’ like it’s an invitation, and that’s just wrong, no matter what we wear, no matter what time.”

At six feet tall, and with some boxing skills under her belt, Scarborough said she still doesn’t feel safe in parts of Penticton.

“If I don’t feel like it’s safe for me everywhere, then what does the average height female feel?” she asked. “If we make it safe for women and children, we make it safe for everyone.”

Related: Marching for hope, healing and empowerment

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls hearings with the federal government have started up again, recently holding hearings in northern B.C., and that has struck another poignant chord for Scarborough.

“Coming from Terrace, and knowing some of those individuals that are on the murdered and missing or the Highway of Tears,” she said.

“When we come out and walk we walk for those that are no longer here beside us walking, that have lost their lives to violence, and that are still missing.”


@dustinrgodfrey

dustin.godfrey@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

Fire ignites at Kelowna homeless camp

No one was hurt in the incident, RCMP are investigating the cause of the fire

UPDATE: Kelowna mayoral candidates talk about crime

Candidates talk about an issue on many city residents’ minds—how to deal with crime downtown

Film exposing effects of Canadian mining company to be shown in Kelowna

Hudbay Minerals’ legacy of lead poisoning, and civil-suits including allegations of murder, rape and shootings

Kelowna councillor candidate drops out of race

Curtis Cinibel confirms he is withdrawing the civic election after filing paper to run

Okanagan College hosts 10th annual Powwow

The Kelowna campus will once again host the event Sept. 20

Store recognized for inclusive employment efforts

Shoppers Drug Mart in Summerland presented with certificate from WorkBC

Fresh-faced Flames fend off Canucks 4-1

Vancouver drops second straight NHL exhibition contest

VIDEO: B.C. deer struggles with life-preserver caught in antlers

Campbell River resident captures entangled deer on camera

Scheer pushes Trudeau to re-start Energy East pipeline talks

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer questioned the Prime Minister over Trans Mountain project

Mistaken identity: Missing dog claimed in Moose Jaw belongs to another family

Brennen Duncan was reunited with a white Kuvasz that was found in Saskatchewan

Abandoned kitten safe and sound thanks to B.C. homeless man

‘Jay’ found little black-and-white kitten in a carrier next to a dumpster by a Chilliwack pet store

Police chief defends controversial marijuana seizure

Advocates said cannabis was part of an opioid-substitution program in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Trans Mountain completes Burrard Inlet spill exercise

Training required, some work continues on pipeline expansion

Supporters of B.C. man accused of murdering Belgian tourist pack courtoom

Family and friends of Sean McKenzie, 27, filled the gallery for brief court appearance in Chilliwack

Most Read