All Out for Take Back the Night!
On the third Friday in September, many cities and towns across Canada will host marches to Take Back the Night, protesting rape and other forms of sexual violence against women while reclaiming the streets.
This year’s Take Back the Night marches comes on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in June that overturned Roe v. Wade (1973) and eliminated the right to legal abortions in that country. The overturning of the Roe v. Wade decision highlighted not only the ongoing fight for women’s rights in the U.S. but also the serious problems that exist in Canada as they relate to the fight for body autonomy and reproductive rights, which are part and parcel of the fight against violence against women.
In Canada, women who live outside of major cities face significant barriers to accessing abortion services. For example, in Ontario, abortion services are only available in Toronto, Ottawa and three cities in southwestern Ontario. This health service is available in only five cities in the prairies and three in the Atlantic provinces. As a result, many women and those seeking abortion services must travel out of their communities, sometimes for great distances, with none of the expenses for travel, accommodations, and other costs covered or reimbursed.
In addition to restricted access to abortion services in Canada because of the lack of facilities that offer them, there is also the problems of the lack of proper funding for healthcare and community supports for women who want to access abortion services, due to the cutbacks and privatizations that have been taking place for years under the anti-social offensive.
When women are put in positions where they do not control what happens to their bodies, this is violence. Empower Yourself Now encourages everyone to participate in their local Take Back the Night marches, rallies or protests and demand an end to violence against women. (For a listing of events click here).
Starting as a grassroots initiative in Vancouver in the late 1970’s, Take Back the Night marches have been organized nationally by the Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres (CASAC) since the early 1980’s.