In 2004, approximately ten thousand cases of sexual assault occurred in Ontario and only 6 per cent have been reported. Karen Basciano is the Public Education and Special Events Coordinator for the Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre, and she’s putting on Take Back the Night in Haliburton.

The walk is meant to raise awareness about the stigma surrounding sexual assault. Basciano says there is still a lot of victim blaming when it comes to cases of sexual assault. The walk is about empowerment – “[women] are always told not to walk at night or make sure to walk with someone, so Take Back the Night is all about dispelling those myths” says Basciano.

This is the second year for Haliburton’s walk, and they’re hoping for a big turnout. Last year about 25 people participated in the walk and Basciano says they’re hoping to double that. Another element she says they’re adding this year is a male speaker at the rally to talk about how men can be allies to women in taking back the night.

The event kicks off with a rally at the Haliburton Highlands Secondary School track at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday September 18. The walk around Head Lake Park will start around 7:30 p.m. Basciano says men and women of all ages are welcome to participate in the event.