TAKE BACK THE NIGHT
Everyone is welcome to join us to commemorate the missing and murdered women from our community, and participate in a peaceful candlelit walk through downtown to raise awareness that assault and murder can happen to anyone, at anytime.
Take Back the Night is an event where everyone is invited to become part of the solution, part of the end to abuse and violence. It is a place to take a stand and break the silence. Together, we can Take Back the Night! It takes place on the third Friday in September.
Take Back the Night is an opportunity for people to come together to raise awareness, protest, and reclaim women’s right to be safe and free from violence in their homes and their communities. Take Back the Night is an international event that happens in cities and communities around the globe. The first Take Back the Night occurred in 1975 in the United States. A young woman named Susan Speeth, walking alone one evening, was stabbed by a stranger a block away from her home. Canadian women held their first march in 1978, in Vancouver; and it was at this time that the third Friday in September was nationally declared “Take Back the Night”. Each year, the Quesnel Women’s Resource Centre organizes the annual march in Quesnel. Every person is welcome to attend and show their support for this important issue.
One out of every three women will be a victim of violence in her lifetime. 1 -2 women are murdered by a partner or ex-partner in Canada per week. Each year, women’s shelters take in between 90,000 to 100,000 women who have experienced violence. In our own community, our transition house shelters over 200 women annually. Quesnel is home to 8 murdered women and five missing women. These are the facts. The statistics are shocking. Quesnel is no stranger to violence against women, nor are we isolated. Female targeted violence continues to be a human rights violation in our community and in communities around the world. Violence affects the lives of millions of women in all social and economic classes. Unfortunately, the majority of violence against women is precipitated by someone the woman knows, and often happens within her own home.
The OVISTA PROJECT
In 2012, the Quesnel Women’s Resource Centre was awarded a three year contract through Status of Women Canada which was named the Ovista Project (Our Vision Is Stopping The Abuse). The project was researched based and aimed to address the specific needs around violence and abuse against women and girls in Quesnel and surrounding areas.
Ovista’s goal was to establish working partnerships with women and girls, local organizations, community leaders and various stakeholders to look at the issue of violence against women and develop a coordinated community response in the context of our local issues and needs. The project has been driven by the viewpoints and feedback received from women and girls who have lived experiences, as well as service providers working in the field. This website was developed in response to feedback received from all parties. The information developed for this project is now incorporated into the QWRC website. Click here to view the OVISTA project.
Women's Memorial Monument
In September of 2007, a group of women from the Quesnel Women’s Resource Centre came together to work towards getting a memorial monument built in Quesnel that would honour local missing and murdered women as well as all women who have been victims of violence in our community. Seven women have lost their lives to violence from our community and an additional 5 are still missing under suspicious circumstances.
Across Canada there are nearly sixty monuments remembering women who have been victims of violence. All of these are aimed to inspire individual communities to work towards change, build awareness, and continue to build support for the issue of violence against women. The Women’s Memorial Monument Committee believes that a memorial monument of this nature will benefit the entire community of Quesnel serving as a reminder to everyone what a devastating impact violence against women has on our society. It will not only be a place for families who have been impacted by this crime, but also for others who work towards change.
This monument will allow families a place to grieve for their injustices and concerned community members a place for action and a place to create change. Our goal for this monument is to honour local women who have been impacted by violence, have lost their lives to violence, or are still missing under suspicious circumstances. We seek to honour their families and loved ones while ensuring that their experiences and their murders do not become mere statistics in our community. As well, acknowledging these women’s experiences in a visible form, such as a memorial monument, is a significant step towards social change and shows that the community of Quesnel is progressive in its endeavour to end violence against women.
In September, 2008 the group approached the City of Quesnel to request that this monument be erected at the end of Bowron Avenue along the Riverfront Trail Walk.
September, 2010 marked the completion of this monument and is engraved with the following names: Mary Jane Jimmie; Julia Baptiste; Roxanne Thiara; Tiffany McKinney; Deena Lyn Braem; Dorothee Huguette McLaughlin; Leah Marie Faulkner; Mary Mae Dick; Barbara Anne Lanes; Julie Oakley Parker.