“Using Silence to Protest”

Carol Goddard, Special to Seaway News
“Using Silence to Protest”
Approximately 30 people participated in the 2021 “Take Back the Night” march in Cornwall on September 16. Goddard photo.

CORNWALL, Ontario – “Take Back the Night” event held in Cornwall on Sept. 16. The event was organized by Suzanne Neville, Chris Piette and CEIU Local 621.

Prior to the walk, Cornwall Police Services (CPS) Acting Chief Shawna Spowart addressed those assembled, concluding how “Together we can make a difference”, with Devin Couchman, Public Education Officer and Volunteer Coordinator for Sexual Assault Support Services SASS, providing information on the support services available for women in SDG, Cornwall and Akwesasne.

Danielle MacNeil, Public Education Officer for Manor Baldwin House, explained MBH provides a 10 bed residential shelter for women 16 years of age and older while providing services such as counselling, child care and a 24-hour crisis line manned by Baldwin House counsellors.  Susan Neville spoke on her personal experiences of sexual, physical and emotional abuse, commenting how SASS provided assistance and support as the healing process began and continued.

Shortly thereafter the group began their walk to Water Street to York Street to Second Street to Pitt before returning to Lamoureux Park accompanied by police in vehicles.  Couchman mentioned in an interview how there were cheers from people and cars honking their horns in support of the walk, with MacNeil mentioning along the route “a woman opened her door as were were walking by to say thank you”.

It is estimated one in four women are victims of assault, with MacNeil commenting how the participants were marching for everyone who had been affected by sexual violence against women.  She continued “Take Back the Night” event is designed to raise awareness about sexual violence as well as any form of violence towards women.

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