Following a contentious discussion over an event raising awareness of violence against women, the Women’s Events Committee has decided not to proceed with including pole fitness demonstrations at this year’s Take Back the Night event.
The announcement came in a statement on the WEC Facebook page Tuesday afternoon:
Women’s Events Committee (WEC) would like to thank our community for the conversations that have been happening in the last few days. Due to the depth of the issue and the closeness of the event,we have decided to not proceed with the pole fitness demonstration at this year’s TBTN.
WEC serves the broader community and TBTN is about re-claiming space that is safe for all. We want the event to be as accessible as possible, emotionally and physically. There will be an ASL interpreter for the rally. An accessible bus provided by LTC will lead the march. It can be boarded at the corner of Central near Richmond.
Everyone is welcome to the gathering and rally before the march. Male allies cheer in solidarity from the sidewalks while womyn and gender non-conforming folks take over the streets in protest of the continued violence against them. We look forward to seeing everyone on Thursday at Victoria Park.
While the London Abused Women’s Centre applauds the decision, they maintain an earlier decision to withdraw support.
“Individual staff may be attending Take Back the Night but we as an agency will not be attending,” says Heather Wharram, LAWC Program Manager.
“That’s because we just feel that the voice of London Abused Women’s Centre on the Women’s Events Committee was dismissed and not heard and that the consultation process was really biased towards including pole fitness at the demonstration. We had to take a stand and we’ve taken that stand and we’ll stand by that stance that we’ve taken.”
Take Back the Night is a march and rally that is held in communities all over the world to bring attention to the issue of violence against women. Thursday’s event will take place at Victoria Park from 5:30-8:30.