District youth have rallied together to help stop violence against women by organizing a “Take Back The Night” march, which is slated for Friday, Oct. 16 here in Fort Frances.
“Events like these are important just to let people know how bad women abuse is, and just to bring it to their realization so that they know it’s out there,” said Nicholas Richard, the Atikokan youth who has spearheaded the event along with friends and family.
The all-ages event, which all are welcome to attend, will begin at 6 p.m. on the boulevard in front of the Adventure Inn.
Participants then will march the route from there to Fort High a few times, followed by a rally at the school.
The group then will finish up at Pizza Hut for food and to hand out prizes.
While “Take back the Night” rallies have been held all around the globe since the 1970s, the last one locally was held back in 2004.
“We just wanted to bring interest and let people know about how bad women abuse can be,” Richard said, noting the march is a way to let people know that if they have been abused, they’re not alone, and that there are people standing up against this violence.
“It’s important because everyone should know about it—it’s something that happens a lot,” stressed Richard’s cousin and Fort High student, Courtney Mose, who has been helping to organize the march with fellow students.
“I hope people just understand that it’s not right,” she added.
“I hope people come, I hope a lot of people show up, I hope people understand what we’re doing it for.”
The idea came about when Richard was looking for ways to fulfil the 40 hours of community service required to graduate from high school. His aunt, Donna Kroocmo, executive director of the Atikokan Crisis Centre, suggested he and friends organize the march.
“We just took the idea and flew with it,” recalled Richard.
“I’ve never been involved in a project like this, so it’s my first time,” Richard admitted. “I just think it’s really inspiring because I would have never thought to do this unless my aunt had brought it up to me.
“And now that I know I can do this, I’m probably going to do it more often now,” he said about becoming involved.
“So it’s a good feeling.”