The Timmins Women in Crisis Centre says it’s a woman’s right to be safe, free, and respected. That message comes as part of this month’s Take Back the Night event. Public Education Coordinator Becky Mason says it’s a rally and peaceful protest to support women’s safety, and debunk sexual assault myths.

She says the myth is that assault happens at night in a dark alleyway. Mason says that’s not true, and sexual assault happens mainly in the comfort of one’s own home, by someone known to the survivor. At the same time, it does still happen on the streets. Mason says street harassment is incredibly real, and calls it really sad. She says that can mean something that seems innocent like cat-calling. She says that comes across as threatening when all you’re trying to do is walk down the street.

Mason says the event is an opportunity for women to have a collective voice, which she says is empowering. She says the message is women have the right to walk down the street and not get cat-called, and have the right to not be escorted by a man for safety purposes.

Take Back the Night is focusing on missing and murdered Aboriginal woman this year. It’s happening in Timmins on September 22nd, in Iroquois Falls on the 23rd, and Cochrane on the 24th. The rally starts at 6:30pm and the march is at 7:00pm.