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Taking back the night in Corner Brook

Nancy Buckle and her daughter Layla, who is enjoying a hot chocolate, were among the people who attended the Take Back the Night Rally held Friday night at Margaret Bowate Park.
Nancy Buckle and her daughter Layla, who is enjoying a hot chocolate, were among the people who attended the Take Back the Night Rally held Friday night at Margaret Bowate Park. - Dave Kearsey

No matter where life took Nancy Buckle over the past 20 years, Take Back the Night was always a community event she vowed to attend.

The Corner Brook woman, with her five-year-old daughter by her side, was among the 100 or so people who participated in the 40th Take Back the Night Rally held Friday at Margaret Bowater Park in Corner Brook.

“Like most women I know, I’ve never felt safe walking the street at night and that is a problem,” Buckle said during the rally. “That’s a really big problem to have to look over your shoulder and be afraid and cross the street when you see a male figure coming towards you.”

Most of the time, Buckle said, there isn’t a cause for concern, but there is a fear instilled in women and she welcome the time when Take Back the Night is no longer needed because people have finally got the message that sexual violence is everybody’s concern not just women.

Participating in walks or rallies in support of creating awareness about sexual assault and violent crimes against women has been something she has been doing for years and she has a daughter to look out for now so she will always show her support by being in the crowd.

“Now that I have a daughter it has even intensified more because I’m worried, as she grows up, what she’s going to experience, and I would want more freedom for her,” she said.

Forty year later Take Back the Night is still going on. It’s something that people in the crowd believe should no longer exist in society and people of all walks of life are affected by it.

While listening to some music, Buckle couldn’t help but notice that there was a smaller crowd on hand than what she expected given the fact that men were also invited to participate in the event for the first time.

“That gave me a lot of hope to see a larger turnout, but I don’t see that,” she said. “For men … it’s your wives, it’s your sisters, it’s your mothers … it should be something that is equally important to them because the people they love are experiencing it.”

All that can be done, she believes, is raise awareness and the birth of the #MeToo campaign has made a difference in how people view the subject, but she knows there is a long way to go before people really get it.

“It doesn’t seem to be getting better to me and that’s very scary,” she said.

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