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Domestic violence survivors to gather under cover of the night PDF Print E-mail
Written by Tessa Clayton   
Wednesday, 21 September 2011 15:17

Take Back the Night set for Friday  

Take Back the Night, a campaign to increase awareness about and protest against violence against women, will take place for the 28th consecutive year at 8 p.m. at Connaught Park in southwest Calgary.  

While the organization has come a long way in that time, committee chair Juliet Burgess says it’s disappointing the organization still exists.  

Photo courtesy of Take Back the Night Calgary
“The state of domestic violence in Calgary has only gone up — that could be a good thing because it’s reported domestic violence so that means more women are talking about it, which is our goal,” she explained.  

“For a lot of people, a domestic violence situation is a huge catalyst in their life — it’s one of the most important things to happen to them and they think about it perhaps everyday,” she said.  

“So for them to be able to come to a space (like the event) where hundreds of other people have experienced the same thing or completely sympathize and want to help … is a communal experience, very powerful, very emotional.”  

Last year 200 people came to the event but Burgess said she’s expecting double the number for this year.  

According to the Calgary YWCA, Alberta had the third highest rate of reported domestic violence in 2008. The Calgary Police Service responded to 13,496 domestic violence calls that year, which is up eight per cent from 2007.  

And according to the Canadian Women’s Foundation, the costs associated with violence against women — including everything from lost wages to health care and criminal justice — is roughly $4.2 billion per year.  

“The numbers are unfortunate to see but it’s a good sign that more and more women are reporting these things,” she said.  

Burgess feels people should attend because it’s an issue that can affect everyone.  

“The more people that are involved and aware of the cause, the faster we can end it,” she said.  

Speakers will include long-time attendees, musicians, past committee members and survivors of domestic violence.  

“We want everyone to remember that, yes, this movement is big, this movement is happening and there’s a lot of things occurring but don’t forget where we’ve come from and how far we’ve come,” Burgess stated.  

The event will begin with a rally and march through the Beltline area, concluding with an open mic session. Men are encouraged to attend but asked to respect the symbolism of women walking alone during the march.  

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