Meagan Gaalaas, Red Deer College student and one of the five organizers of the Red Deer Unite! Take Back the Night event, leads a march from City Hall to Rotary Park Thursday. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)

Community march against sex assault planned in Red Deer this month

Rally begins Sept. 20 in front of courthouse

A rally against sexual violence will take place Sept. 20 in downtown Red Deer.

The Red Deer Unite, Take Back the Night community walk will start at the Red Deer provincial courthouse at 6:30 p.m. to bring attention to the lack of legal justice for many survivors of sexual assault, say organizers.

“We will commence with an opening ceremony, followed by the march. We will end at Wild Horse Yoga Studio, where we will have speakers, snacks and various community booths.”

Participants can come together, partake in a sharing circle and view a new mural.

By projecting a collective voice against sexual violence, “we believe we can change rape culture,” say organizers, who want longer jail sentences for perpetrators.

“We are not victims, we are survivors. We will not pity or shame those who have experienced sexual violence, but rather, we will stand alongside them using our voices to demand change.”

Red Deer Unite has partnered with the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Center in organizing the annual rally.

It aims to bring together allies, advocates and survivors to raise awareness and educate around the topic.

“We recognize that sexual assault doesn’t discriminate and can affect individuals of all socioeconomic backgrounds, races, and gender. Which is why we believe that through collectively coming together, we can remove the stigma.”

Everybody is invited to join the rally.

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