Dozens walked in solidarity early Friday evening, Sept. 16, to the Quesnel Women’s Resource Centre to remember those who have been taken by gender-based violence and break the silence.
Take Back the Night began at the Women’s Memorial Monument at the end of Bowron Avenue.
Lauren Abbott put her hand on the shoulder of Catherine Forbes, who thanked everyone for coming after being unable to gather in person for the past two years due to COVID-19.
The two friends are counselors, advocates and support workers at the Quesnel Women’s Resource Centre.
”Even though it is 2022, we’re still hearing about the effects of violence as we’re inundated with information through various media outlets. The problem seems massive, and often, we wonder what we can do about it. How can we tackle such an overwhelming issue?” Forbes said.
“First, we become more than bystanders — we call out the violence for what it is regardless of gender and recognize that when we work on anti-violence at our grassroots level it does result in change so we can make a difference.”
To date this year, Forbes said the Quesnel Women’s Resource Centre has seen more than 2,000 women seeking safety, support and information.
Michelle Munch held a photo of her niece Noelle O’Soup who was 13 years old when she went missing in May 2021.
Nearly a year later, O’Soup’s body was found in an apartment building in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
“I just came here today to honour her,” Munch said. “Indigenous women go missing constantly, and it’s hard to get the media’s attention. We need more support and the RCMP to help us more. A lot of times, they don’t take it seriously, they think the girls are just runaways, and that’s not the case —they have families that love them.”
Another woman who did not identify herself also held back tears as she spoke of a woman she described as her sister who was killed in a hit and run near the Halfway River First Nation in Fort. St John.
It has been seven years since her tragic death in which there have been no leads.
“All we can do is be strong and hold each other up,” the woman said, noting she tells family members to go to the river and pray.
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