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Kelowna march against violence hopes to incite change

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Kelowna march against violence hopes to incite change – Sep 15, 2017

The annual Take Back the Night march attracted about 150 people Thursday night in Kelowna.

But organizers say while crime rates in the Okanagan are generally on the decline, violence against women is on the rise.

“We’ve seen other crimes go down, but crimes against women, sexual assault and domestic violence have not,” Michelle Novakowski, executive director of the Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society said. “Sexually assault has actually gone up.”

READ MORE: 73% of Canadian women and children who seek emergency shelter are turned away: survey

Novakowski said women are most vulnerable between the ages of 14 and 24, which includes a growing population of post-secondary students who live in Kelowna.

READ MORE: Statistics Canada report finds self-reported sexual assault rates steady over 10 years

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“We should be able to be safe in our communities, in our neighbourhood and downtown,” Novakowski said.

The annual march took to Bernard Ave.

“We must be willing to raise our voices to raise awareness, to raise the bar on how we treat one another,” one speaker said as she raised a cheer from those in attendance.

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