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Watson Lake solidarity march aims to raise awareness about violence in community

On Tuesday, the Liard Aboriginal Women's Society is hosting an anti-violence vigil and solidarity march. Organizer Margaret Charlie says she's seen the justice system fail young women for years and people in the community are calling for violence to end. 

'It's not your fault. You don't deserve this treatment,' says organizer Margaret Charlie

Margaret Charlie, pictured here, is one of the organizers of the vigil. (Philippe Morin/CBC)

Some citizens in Watson Lake, Yukon, are tired of the level of violence in their community. Kaska women in the community have said it's gotten to a point where they don't feel safe.

On Tuesday, the Liard Aboriginal Women's Society is hosting an anti-violence vigil and solidarity march, and Margaret Charlie is one of the organizers.

Charlie said she has seen the justice system fail young women for years and people in the community are calling for violence to end. 

"[Women] said they were afraid of speaking up. But now they're not. They're coming out," Charlie said on CBC's Midday Cafe.

"They're slowly coming and talking to me about stuff, what happened to them ... I give these young girls courage and [let them know] they're not alone anymore."

Kaska citizens to march to draw attention to growing problem in Watson Lake. 11:39

Charlie said now that more people are talking about what they've experienced, taking a stand is easier.

"It's not your fault. You don't deserve this treatment," she said.

Charlie said when she was growing up, her parents weren't violent. But now she looks after two of her granddaughters, and she said she doesn't want them to see this violence in their community or have to grow up with it. 

Charlie said she hopes the vigil lets women in the community know they aren't alone. In terms of supports that need to be bolstered in the community, Charlie said changing the justice system is a big one. 

"I would like to see the justice system do their duty to keep the young ladies safe," she said. 

"It's not right for the young ladies to be on guard all the time."

With files from Leonard Linklater

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