The wind was mighty as were spirits at the thirtieth annual Take Back the Night in Hamilton!
Women-identified folks started arriving at Hamilton City Hall in the early evening to check out the over twenty-five community organizations, to chat about the work that they do and to get some amazing free give aways.
TBTN participants popped by the SACHA table to pick up information about what they can do to end sexual violence and some free buttons and patches.
Both the glitter covered sign making table and the henna tattoo artists were busy all evening.
Kathryn Kimmins from Laugh Yourself Healthy lead the growing number of women in laughter yoga.
After the crowd was sufficiently warmed up and had had a hearty laugh, Hamilton’s Queen Cee sang while her incredible BE-You-tiful Girls Club surprised us with a dance with the whole crowd joining in for the last verse.
As the sun was setting, Anne Marie from the YWCA got women warmed up for the march by leading participants in some energetic Zumba.
The best sign shoutouts went to the Hamilton Katimavik group and Sylvia. The winner of the best sign was Amelia, who’s sign read:
“I Take Back the Night…
…Because I cannot take back the day on which I was raped;
…Because I cannot take back the time spent in court;
…Because I cannot take back the energy devoted to supporting myself (when my friends turned their backs);
I Take Back the Night because I cannot take back all the love I shared in 14 months in an abusive relationship!”
Once the giant puppets (created by Melanie Skene of Many Hands Art) and the samba squad (Rhythms of Resistance Toronto) were ready over one thousand five hundred women (as guessed by Hamilton Police) gathered behind the SACHA banner and headed out to the streets for the march.
As the march rounded the corner of James and King, the women marching saw the male allies on the sidelines cheering on the TBTN participants.
The marchers returned to City Hall to share some incredible food and watch some awesome fire spinning.
It was an amazing night full of strong empowered women identified folks. It felt special to be a part of it. Thanks to everyone who helped make the event happen – the TBTN committee, TBTN event volunteers, SACHA’s sewing volunteers, SACHA staff and our donors. I cannot wait for our thirty-first year of TBTN in Hamilton!