Wlliams Lake city coun. Ivan Bonnell and Rotary Exchange Student Guillaume Bayle

Wlliams Lake city coun. Ivan Bonnell and Rotary Exchange Student Guillaume Bayle

Take Back the Night raises awareness

The annual Take Back the Night Walk builds on a tradition that began almost two centuries ago in England.

When people in Williams Lake participated in the annual Take Back the Night Walk Friday they were building on a tradition that began almost two centuries ago in England.

“Over the years it’s morphed,” Women’s Contact Society executive director Irene Willsie said of the walk. It started out as a protest event where people actually went to jail for participating.

“Now it’s a peaceful, awareness-raising walk that draws attention to not only violence against women in our community, but any sort of violence in the community.”

After the walk, held Friday beginning at Boitanio Park and ending at Marie Sharpe elementary school for a chilli and bannock dinner prepared by the Friendship Society, Willsie said the impacts of violence are not only felt by immediate families, but by the whole community.

Children who witness violence do not feel safe and people who witness violence repeatedly are also impacted.

“It’s important that we don’t normalize violence,” Willsie said.

On behalf of the city, Coun. Ivan Bonnell participated in the walk and said his presence there symbolized city council’s commitment to ending violence in the community.

“Violence is a public crime, not a private act,” Bonnell said. “We are dedicated to ending violence in public places as well as encouraging people to act when they are aware of violence in homes.”

Take Back the Night is a good way to raise awareness of the need for  people to phone the RCMP, and assist victims in whatever way they can without being judgemental.

“People can call on community resources to assist in helping victims and taking action towards perpetrators,” Bonnell said. “Hopefully one day we’ll be able to celebrate a violence-free community.”

Shuswap elder Mary Thomas said more and more awareness is being created and more supports made available to victims of violence.

“The Integrated Case Assessment Team, which first originated in Vernon, is practiced by many helping organizations such as RCMP and different ministries,” Thomas said.

Historically, the culture of First Nations people was not to discuss violence, Thomas added.

Williams Lake RCMP Const. Kelly McIntyre said there are great supports in Williams Lake when it comes to helping victims of violence.

One night after dealing with a call about a woman who had been hurt, she sat at a table with ten people figuring out a way to make her safe.

“Even at the hospital, when we’re going there with victims or families of victims, the nurses and doctors have also been amazing and comforting,” McIntyre said.

It’s been an eye-opening first year of policing in Williams Lake, she said.

“There is an amazing group of people here dedicated to help people who are going through the complications and effects of violence.”


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mayor Walt Cobb waves from atop a tractor as he turns onto Oliver Street in the Daybreak Rotary’s annual Stampede Parade. Patrick Davies photo.
Lack of funding, volunteers has Daybreak Rotary bowing out of Williams Lake Stampede parade

Club learned this week it won’t be receiving local government funding, for the second year in a row

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

Williams Lake’s Brock Hoyer films a segment of the newly-released The Way Home in the city of Revelstoke. (Ryen Dunford photo)
Brock Hoyer stars in new snowbike film: The Way Home

The film is completely free and was released on YouTube on Jan. 22, 2021

The body of Kenneth Seymour Michell was discovered Jan. 14, 2021, behind a Williams Lake business a day after he was released by a judge on conditions. (Photo submitted)
Family looks for answers after Indigenous man dies by suicide following release from custody

System does not care about Indigenous peoples, says First Nations Leadership Council

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Interior Health officially declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Creekside Landing in Vernon on Jan. 3, which was followed by the first death from the virus 10 days later. (Kaigo photo)
COVID outbreak over at Vernon care home

Creekside Landing cleared of coronavirus, despite additional death in last day

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

Most Read