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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, April 21, 2024
HomeNewsLocal newsWomen's Coalition Holds Take Back the Night Silent March and Rally

Women’s Coalition Holds Take Back the Night Silent March and Rally

For 35 years locals have been silently marching in Christiansted or Frederiksted in the Women’s Coalition’s annual “Take Back the Night” silent march and rally. On Thursday more than 100 people continued the tradition, marching while holding candles in silence from the Frederiksted fish market to the Eliza McBean clock tower in Buddhoe Park. 

The night of remembering victims began at sunset and is dedicated to victims, survivors and those who lost their lives to domestic violence. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

 Clema Lewis, executive director of Women’s Coalition of St. Croix, said she was very pleased and happy with the turnout at the march and rally.

“The community always comes out and shows strong support,” Lewis said. “And we really appreciate and are thankful for all the support over the years.” 

Lewis said a new addition to the traditional activities for their 35th anniversary was an essay contest open to all local high school students. Lewis said the topic was, "After 35 Years, Why Do We Still Need the WCSC?"

“A highlight of the evening was announcing the winners of our anniversary essay contest,” Lewis said Friday: Ameera Mustafa won first place, second place was awarded to Franisha Emmanuel and D’Andra Baptiste won third place.

Another tradition at the rally is to read a list of victims while someone places a pair of shoes in a spotlight for each victim on the list.

New to the Remember My Name list is V.I. Police Officer Lesha Lammy, 30, who was killed along with another officer at Hams Bluff in August. Lewis said they are searching for next of kin for permission for the other officer killed to be added to the list.

Lewis said there are now 53 on the list with the first victim counted in 1984. She said that last year they didn’t have any additions to the list, a trend she hoped would continue. 

Every year people or organizations that go above and beyond to help make a difference in the lives of survivors and victims are awarded hero and shero status. This year the folks at My Brother’s Table were recipients of the awards.

Lewis said Rose Carty, Hyacinth George and the Rev. Rod Koopmans are always happy to provide a healthy and warm meal to women and children that have taken shelter from abusive situations.

Lewis said a victim that used the coalition services volunteers at the soup kitchen. She said it is the coalition’s way of saying thank you to people who assist others in need.

There was an interpretive dance performance by the Thalema Williams Dance Company, guest speakers, and a display of the Clothesline Project, where clients express their feelings and thoughts about abuse in writings and drawings on T-shirts that were hung on clotheslines. 

The last community activity scheduled for October is the Supermarket Wish List Campaign.

WCSC’s Supermarket Wish List Campaign gets the community involved in donating canned and household goods for victims and survivors in crisis and families in need. Volunteers will be accepting donations of items from WCSC’s wish list at Cost-U-Less and Kmart West on Oct. 29 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Lewis said the last drive was very successful and they are very happy and grateful for the generosity of the community.

The Women’s Coalition of St. Croix is a multicultural, nonprofit organization whose mission is to end all forms of violence. Since 1981 it has addressed the issue of violence against women, men and children in the community through education and advocacy.

For more information, to make a donation, or to volunteer call WCSC’s main office/crisis center at 340-773-9272 or visit WCSC’s website at wcstx.org. 

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