Toronto Women Are Marching On Saturday To 'Take Back The Night' After Recent Assaults
"We march because we’re angry ... because we have been intimidated and attacked."
A group of Toronto women are taking matters into their own hands. After a string of assaults and abduction attempts, Aliya Pabani and Maddie Ritts decided to organize a Toronto "Take Back The Night" march throughout the city's West End to bring attention to the issue. The event is scheduled for Saturday night, August 22 at 7:30 p.m. and begins at the Parkdale Library.
"Here in Toronto’s West End, we’ve seen a surge in sexual assaults, harassment, and attempted abductions over the past few months," Ritts told Narcity on Wednesday, August 19.
Ritts continued by explaining that they don't have faith in the current justice system to remedy the root causes of gender-based violence. They also feel they don't have a solid foundation of trust in the police.
As a result, Toronto women are left to find ways to keep themselves safe.
"We [will] march because we’re angry, [..] because we have been intimidated and attacked both on the street and in our own homes. We’re furious that we live in a world where we bear the responsibility to avoid harassment, assault, and rape," said Ritts.
Ritts said that self-defence has become an essential consideration for women leaving the house, but that it shouldn't be this way.
The Facebook page for the event says that most of the reports of assaults and attacks have come from the Roncesvalles/Parkdale area.
Organizers suggest bringing a mask and hand sanitizer (although PPE will be provided to those who don't have any), and a noisemaker or instrument!
The event descriptions states that everyone is welcome, but asks cis men to march at the back of the crowd, in solidarity with the women.
There will also be a Rest & Ride Van on site for anyone will accessibility issues.
The news of the march comes after a series of incidents in the West End.
From May to July this year, a Toronto man committed a slew of seven attacks in the Roncesvalles area, almost exclusively against women.
The community banded together to discuss safety measures and to work out what they could do to stop the attacks.
on August 1 2020.
Ritts ended her statement with her hopes for the event.
"We are committed to developing truly democratic and transformative systems of justice and we commit to supporting one another in building a better world," she concluded.
*The cover photo on the right was used for illustrative purposes only.