Despite a tumultuous week in the lead-up to the annual event, Take Back the Night went off without a hitch in Victoria Park on Thursday evening.
Community members came together to denounce violence against women, even as the controversy over the potential inclusion of a pole dancing fitness group remained.
Earlier this week, organizers asked for thoughts on including the group, which caused the London Abused Women’s Centre to withdraw it’s support for the event.
Even though organizers later confirmed the group wouldn’t take part, LAWC said it wouldn’t be there in an official capacity.
Take Back the Night organizer Shelley Yeo said the focus of the event was about supporting those who have experienced violence.
“People have been impacted by this, if not themselves, their friends, their family, somebody in their lives has been impacted by this, they’ve seen it, and they want it to end,” said Yeo. “Really, it’s a call to action to end violence against women.”
Yeo said the event also gives people an opportunity to meet with people or agencies who may be able to help them if they’ve experienced violence.
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.