Walk to Take Back the Night returning to Timmins streets

People in Timmins are ready to Take Back the Night.

On Thursday, Sept. 21, at 6:30 p.m., the Take Back the Night event will begin with a rally at the Timmins Women in Crisis Centre at 355 Wilson Ave. The walk itself will start at 7 p.m.

This is the first in-person walk since 2019.

Take Back the Night aims to raise awareness and build community around ending sexual violence in all forms.

“There’s going to be music, and we’re going to walk the streets of Timmins,” said Ellevive executive director Chantal Mailloux. “We sing, we chant, we’ll have our signs we’ve made.”

This year, everyone is welcome to show their support.

“In years prior, there were only women, and the thinking behind that was because the goal is to reclaim the streets and say that we shouldn’t be afraid to walk at night,” said Mailloux. “Now we need the allies. It’s not only women. We’re not going to solve these issues by ourselves.”

Awareness and involvement in the community is a big part of what the event is about, said Mailloux.

“We need many people to help with solving the issues, so we need as many people as possible with us,” said Mailloux.

Take Back the Night events have been happening around the world since 1975.

While the events continued virtually during the pandemic, the camaraderie that the in-person event offers is something that was missed, said Mailloux.

“You could go around Gilles Lake in support in your own time, and there was signage around the lake, which was fine, but what’s really nice about the in-person event is the solidarity,” she said. “The empowerment, it’s such a good feeling.”

The event in Timmins is one of three being held in the area, with walks in Iroquois Falls on Sept. 20 and Cochrane on Sept. 27.

The walk will be accessible to anyone and supports are in place to help people participate.

“If they can’t walk, come to the rally and listen in on what’s going on,” said Mailloux. “I will be at the back of the line in a vehicle, so if somebody can’t do the whole walk, or they feel like they can’t go anymore, they can hop in with me, and we can do the whole thing together.”

The event is a chance to learn and build community, said Mailloux.

“This can help us have conversations around these issues in hopes to find some solutions,” she said.

Amanda Rabski-McColl, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com