Protesting sexual violence

Despite the breezy weather and unseasonably chilly temperatures, dozens of people took to the streets of downtown Kelowna Thursday evening for the annual Take Back the Night march.

The event, which is held in solidarity with similar events around the world, is hosted by the Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society, and looks to protest sexual violence and raise awareness about threats women in the community face.

“It's important because the problem just keeps getting bigger and bigger, where people are not feeling safe,” said Diane Greenwood, volunteer services co-ordinator with the Elizabeth Fry Society. “Domestic violence and sexual assault is on the rise and we need to put an end to it.”

Take Back the Night events are held worldwide and date back to the 1970s.

Prior to Thursday night's march, Sean McHugh of Alliance Jiu-Jitsu held a self defence demonstration for those in attendance, teaching several techniques that can be used by a person who's being attacked.

The marchers then took off east down Bernard Avenue, chanting and waving signs. Several motorists in passing vehicles honked their support.

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