September 15, 2011 – The night was cool – but YWCA Hamilton light up the way! Celebrating Hamilton’s 30th anniversary of Take Back The Night, YWCA joined leading organization SACHA, dozens of other women-identified organizations and over 700 individuals to assertively reclaim our right to safety, and courageously stand up against violence.
“30 years ago women were scared to walk in Hamilton’s first Take Back The Night,” says YWCA Hamilton CEO Denise Doyle. “Only a handful of women showed up. They had not asked for the City’s permission to have the walk. Taking a stand against gender-based violence placed women at great personal risk to community backlash. Women felt unsafe. It wasn’t anything like how it is today.”
Today, Take Back The Night is a fun, loud, celebratory event. To mark the occasion YWCA Hamilton gave out blue glow stick necklaces – a huge hit – but we also took the opportunity to address the fact that women’s personal safety continues to be violated, weather it be in intimate relationships or walking the streets alone at night.
As women received their glowing jewelry, they were informed about YWCA’s Safety Siren iPhone app – designed to alert a person’s safety contacts in emergency situations, even sending contacts their GPS location. Many women uploaded the application on the spot while others said they were going to ask their daughters to upload the application once they returned home.
“We’ve come a long way,” says Doyle, “but we still have a long way to go.” Until everyone women is safe inside their relationships and out in the streets, we will continue to march as loud, charismatic sisters of solidarity – and as bold, serious sisters of our shared struggle.
More information about the app can be read here.