Skip to content

2022 Take Back the Night walk comes in a year with rising domestic assault calls in Thompson

Rates of violence against women are higher in the north and for Indigenous women, participants hear.
take back the night walk sept 22 2022
Thompson’s annual Take Back the Night walk opposing violence against women and promoting community safety took place Sept. 22.

Thompson’s annual Take Back the Night walk in support of community safety and opposing violence, particularly violence against women, took place Sept. 22. 

The walk began at Robin’s Donut’s and proceeded along Selkirk Avenue, Thompson Drive and Mystery Lake Road back to the starting point under sunny skies and with a higher than normal temperatures, though a stiff breeze buffeted the participants, who were fewer in number than in some previous years.

Prior to the walk, Thompson YWCA executive director Kim Hickes pointed out that violence against women is an issue that particularly affects the north, where rates of violent crimes against women and girls are five to six times higher than in the south and where 31 per cent of homicide victims are women, compared to a national average of 24 per cent.

“This walk symbolizes our commitment, each one of us, to end violence against women and girls in the north,” she said. “Too often, society creates a culture of blaming victims for crimes committed against them, that violence against women is inevitable. This is not true. We can stop it.”

Thompson Crisis Centre executive director Helen Trudeau said that attitudes towards violence against women and domestic violence have improved but still have far to go, while Churchill-Keewatinook Aski MP Niki Ashton said there were backwards steps resulting from COVID-19.

“Domestic violence and violence against women has skyrocketed during the pandemic,” she said. “We need strong action, a national action plan to end violence against women here in our community, in the north and across the country. Indigenous women are disproportionately impacted by violence. We want to not just take back the night but end violence against women and continue the fight for equality for all of us.”

Crisis centre board chair Nelson Pruder said the organization is in need of volunteer board members and also recommended a book he recently read, called “The Men Who Hate Women,” which is available at the Thompson Public Library.

“It was a discussion about misogyny, the day-to-day misogyny, hatred towards women, in communities, in our societies and how it affects all of us every day,” he said. “I encourage you to have a look at that.”

Two days before the walk, city council received a report showing that Thompson RCMP had responded to 165 domestic assault calls in the first seven months of 2022, putting it on pace to surpass the total from 2021, when there were 278 domestic assault calls, higher than the previous two years.

“This is absolutely one of the most important walks of the year,” said Mayor Colleen Smook. “And our city struggles. We are definitely working with issues and we will continue on the path forward.”

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks