take back the night

IMG_0641 IMG_0649 IMG_0651 take back the night 2

Last month we went to our first Take Back the Night walk.  I was deeply moved by the camaraderie, the beating of the drums, the powerful chanting, the strength in numbers, the lit-up faces, and the intentional conversations.  The girls and Josh felt it too.  Plus there was a pug.

Ella had really late classes on campus last year, and she would have a long wait for the bus plus twenty minutes of walking before arriving safely home close to midnight.  I was overcome with relief each time I heard the door unlock and the kicking off of shoes.

I was reminded of a conversation I had with my youngest brother-in-law almost two decades before.  We were walking in our neighbourhood, and there was a bike lying in a yard. He noted nonchalantly that he could steal it.  I was speechless.  It had never occurred to me to take the bike.  It wasn’t mine.  It dawned on me the insanity of having to lock up our belongings and protect ourselves against predators. That the onus was on victims.  There’s probably something in there about treating others with kindness and ensuring everyone has enough, but in that moment my thoughts were centred solely on toddler-Ella.   I wanted a world in which she wouldn’t have to fear being attacked or raided – a world in which she could walk freely and safely at any time of day.  Fast forward to today, and we have two daughters who are going out into the world more and more alone.  I resent that this is unsafe.

If you’ve experienced sexual violence, there is help out there.



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