It was an emotional atrium at the College of New Caledonia this evening.

The 26th annual Take Back the Night rally and march kicked off at CNC, beginning with three speakers who shared their stories to a room full of men, women and children ready to march in solidarity.

The K’hastan Drummers performed a song as the crowd exited the building to the marching route alongside Highway 97.

Take Back the Night began in Prince George in 1992 when a number of agencies came together to raise awareness about violence and demand safe streets and communities for women and children.

Dawn Hemingway, a UNBC social work professor, local activist and founding member of Northern FIRE, was one of the three speakers at the event.

“It’s just hard to believe that in 2018 we are still dealing with this, that young women, children and older women are still experiencing violence – not just violence but being murdered and missing.”

“The fact that we live in a society with such resources and such capabilities and we still can’t deal with these questions,” said Hemingway.

“On one hand it’s emotional but it makes us collectively more determined to make sure that there are the policies in place and the means for people to have a good life with their families.”