TRURO, N.S. - Liz MacKay was a young teenager when she was sexually assaulted.
It was a frightening experience, and one she never recovered from before entering a long string of unhealthy relationships.
“I was taught by people that I felt love for that I was not worth love,” MacKay told a crowd gathered for the annual Take Back the Night rally in Truro on Thursday. “I was taught that I was an object, something that could be used and thrown away without a second thought. I already had low self esteem and this solidified my belief that I wasn’t worthy of being loved by anyone, not even myself.”
MacKay, peer support coordinator at the Central Nova Women’s Resource Centre, said her own journey to wellness started as she began learning to love herself.
“I stopped basing my own self worth on the actions of others. I learned to take care of myself and to be as compassionate with myself as I try to be with others.”
She noted that self care can take many different forms, and is different for each person. Some of the things involved in her self care include long drives with no destination in mind, zip-lining, and playing board games with friends.
MacKay was among a group of people who marched, drummed and waved through the streets of Truro during the rally.
The event included a short walk, with Truro police leading the way, as well as speakers and music. The local event was organized by the CNWRC, Colchester Sexual Assault Centre (CSAC) and the Mi’kmaw Family Healing Centre.
Take Back the Night events have been taking place around the world since the 1970s, spreading a message of the need to end sexual assault and abuse, domestic violence, and all other forms of sexual violence.