ORCC: Take Back the Night – Why We March

The power and control that feeds into sexual violence rely heavily on the imposed silence of those targeted. Under historical and current shrouds of darkness, perpetrators seek to obscure the visibility of the current reality in Canada; rates of sexual violence are at epidemic levels across the country.

Statistics Canada reports that rates of sexual assault in 2021 were at their highest since 1996, accounting for a third of an overall five percent increase in reports of violent crime. These statistics pertain only to reported violence rates, which we know only represent a fraction of the total numbers. In addition to this, it has been well-documented that Black, Indigenous, 2SLGBTQQIA+ communities and People of Colour experience disproportionate rates of sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence.

We are marching to take by the night for these reasons and more.

Take Back the Night is the oldest worldwide movement to stand against sexual violence. ORCC is showing up to shatter the silence and participate in Ottawa’s annual rally and march against sexual and gender-based violence.

More specifically, we’re showing up to support survivors and advocating for:

  • equal rights to safety,
  • access to support,
  • bodily autonomy, and
  • action to end sexual and gender-based violence.

While this advocacy will look different across time and space, ORCC is working to move forward to foster meaningful change and much-needed support.

The right to safety

Our crisis services are available to survivors 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year-round. Compassionate and skilled volunteers are here for you, any time, any day.

The therapists on ORCC’s Counselling Team offer safety planning and accompaniment services to clients as a step towards safety and removing barriers to additional help requested or needed.

Improving access to support

ORCC is currently examining ways to streamline access to urgently needed counselling services and healing supports, which will mean quicker access to crisis counsellors and other time-sensitive interventions. We are also continuously engaging with service providers in the region to work towards a stronger and more cohesive community of care for survivors.

Bodily autonomy

We are lending our voices to events and initiatives such as Take Back the Night, an Eastern Ontario Anti-Human Trafficking Working Group, and other critical initiatives. Through these channels, we encourage community partners to consider the realities of violence in our society by critically acknowledging the dynamics of power and control in this patriarchal, active settler colony. (By active settler colony, we are referring to the ongoing effects of settler colonialism in Canada and its impacts on Indigenous peoples.)

Action to end sexual- and gender-based violence

We all have a role to play in ending sexual- and gender-based violence. The demand for support from survivors far exceeds the resources available through many organizations in the VAW sector. Multi-year sustainable core funding from funders and governments would be an impactful investment in proactive sexual assault centre infrastructure management, public education work, and community outreach initiatives.

At every step, our ultimate goal is to support survivors and move towards an end to sexual and gender-based violence. Take Back the Night is an evening of communities coming together in solidarity; we commit to working towards a time when marching and rallying calls for visibility and justice are no longer needed.