SACHA - Sexual Assault Centre
905.525.4162
Erasing Your Tracks Online
75 MacNab St. South, 3rd floor
Hamilton Ontario L8P 3C1 Canada
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Take Back the Night and Male Allies

You are interested in supporting women’s rights, safety and ending violence in our community. AMAZING! We’re so excited more and more people are talking about justice for all genders! Your support is an important part of this event and our movement to end violence. We love to see our male allies coming out to cheer us on.

 

We're inviting men to cheer on the march from James Street

Male allies will be gathering at 7:15pm at the corner of James and King Streets  to cheer on the march as it approaches from City Hall. Bring signs and noise makers!

 

What can you do RIGHT NOW?

For info on what you can do RIGHT NOW to help prevent gender violence click here. For thoughts on what it means to be an ally by Jamia Wilson check out her awesome article in Rookie Mag.

Take Back the Nights started as a response to the mythical idea that women need male protection to walk safely at night. Take Back the Night is a response to all the “rules” that women are told to follow in order to be safe in our lives — “don’t go out late at night”, “dress a certain way”, or “walk in well-lit areas”.

Because of this, we continue to organize Take Back the Night as a space that centres the experiences of women and gender non-conforming folks to honour this history and to reaffirm our strength. During this event, we ask male allies to cheer us on from the sidelines.

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Being an Awesome Male Ally Means Knowing When to Step Back

Gendered violence will not end until everyone is committed to speaking out.

We truly appreciate the support of our allies – but there are times when women want to organize spaces for ourselves.

Because of how we are raised, men are not often taught to follow women’s lead, and that may be a key challenge for men who aspire to support the women’s movement. Powerful male allies recognize when it is appropriate to take on a supportive role and step back when women choose to organize separately.

Also, male allies can support both Take Back the Night and feminism in a broader context by working to honour and validate the experiences of women and gender non-conforming folks.

 

Safe(r) Space

While we know that most rape is perpetrated by men we also know that most men are not rapists. We also acknowledge and validate the experience of male survivors.

Survivors of sexual assault can be of any gender, age, income level, immigration status or ethnicity. However, we do know that most of the survivors of sexual assault are women (92%) and most of the perpetrators are men (99%).

We believe that it is important to try to the best of our ability to create safe spaces for survivors of violence. Women survivors of violence tell us that they need spaces for women and gender non-conforming folks as an important part of their healing journey.

 

Women’s Experience of Sexism 

Because of the way we are raised, our society encourages women to be quieter, take up less space and take care of others. When we create women-only spaces, we have the rare opportunity to minimize these societal expectations of women and connect with our strength, our leadership, and our power.

 

Women Only Spaces are Rare in Our Society

Try turning on the radio or TV to a random station at a random time. Chances are that you will hear or see something that is created by men, features men and/or is performed by men.

Women are just 28% of speaking roles in movies, only 25% of Canadian Parliament and Canada ranks 46th in the world for female representation in government.

For three hours, once a year we want to create a women-only space and experience what it is like to be surrounded by women and gender non-conforming folks.

 

Creating New Leaders

By creating a space for our voices to be heard we also create opportunities for young folks to see women and gender non-conforming folks take a leadership positions. Hamilton’s Take Back the Night event is a chance for everyone in our community to see powerful possibility models.

At SACHA we believe that it takes many ways of organizing to end violence against women and to challenge the systems which hold sexism in place in our society. We recognize that there are many different and effective ways to organize. And so, for three hours in September we choose to claim an unapologetic space that centres women and gender non-conforming folks.
 

 

Other resources for male allies:

  • Jay Smooth giving men tips on how they can support feminists who are being targeted online and how men can speak out against online sexual harassment:

This resource developed with the generous support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
All services are Free, Confidential and Non-Judgmental. © SACHA. 24 Hour Support Line 905-525-4162

A member of the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres
A member of the Women Abuse Working Group Wawg
A United Way Member Agency Uw
Supported by the Ministry of the Attorney General Ontario Victim Services Secretariat Ontario and the City of Hamilton Hamilton