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

West Kelowna school honours Olympics for Harmony Day

Rose Valley Elementary had an Olympic themed event to celebrate diversity

Kelowna chamber doesn’t like new payroll health tax

New tax will help government make up loss of revenue from elimination of MSP premiums

New proposal suggested for Gable Beach

District of Lake Country staff’s new recommendations will be presented March 6

Overnight chill falls short of Feb. 21 records

Icy temperatures across the Okanagan-Shuswap don’t beat lows set in 1910, 1894

RCMP continue investigation into missing Sun Peaks man

Ryan Shtuka disappeared after leaving the village of Sun Peaks on Feb. 17

Salvation Army thanks community for fundraising

Local group helped many families over Christmas and the funds will keep going

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Letter: Cartoon was politically, racially biased

Kelowna letter-writer not impressed with editorial cartoon

Senior’s column: Creating mental space

Kelowna columnist Marjorie Horne talks about the aging process in her column

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

Penticton joins trade war protest

Opposition to wine boycott is spreading through Okanagan communities

IIO: Kamloops RCMP did not have to report shooting

The IIO is not investigating an officer-involved shooting that occurred in Kamloops in 2017

No smoke alarm, faulty cord contributed to fatal B.C. fire

Faulty electric cord and power source connected to space heater believed to have caused flames

Walmart partners online grocery service to bring Vancouver home delivery

Move expands upon similar efforts announced last November to grow home delivery service

Most Read