Leah Grimes, marching at Take Back The Night. Photo credit: Myriam Landreville

On a windy Thursday night, community members gathered around Minto Park for the annual Take Back The Night march.

The event happened on Sept. 22 and called for an end to gender-based violence.

On the 42nd anniversary of the march, there was a sense of sisterhood and sadness as speakers expressed the need for change and they paid tribute to victims of femicide.

Tears flowed while speakers mentioned the recent murder of Savanna Pikuyak, an Algonquin College student who was killed only a dozen days prior to the walk.

Carina Maggiore, the main speaker of the night and an Unsafe At Home Project Coordinator at Interval House of Ottawa, brought the speaking portion of the night to an end with a message of hope.

“I am not alone, you are not alone, together we are strong,” said Maggiore.

The march started around 7 p.m. as community members gathered and embraced. They took to the streets with signs and written messages, such as “My little dress is not a yes” and “Stop abusing women.”

Leah Grimes, a volunteer centre staff member at Algonquin College, helped bring Algonquin College students together to march for the night.

“I think it is important to get out and raise awareness about how scary it is to be a woman in this society,” Grimes said. “And bringing women together, being like we all feel this and we are strong together, it is really powerful.”

The march ended in front of Ottawa City Hall with volunteers from CALACS, the Centre d’Aide et de Lutte Contre les Agressions à Caractère Sexuel, a French-based service for women who have been through sexual aggression, giving out service information for survivors of assault.

People in need of service can contact Project Lighthouse, CALACS and the Sexual Assault Support Center of Ottawa.