Campus gets ready to take back the night
At least one in three women worldwide has been beaten, forced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime.
The Women’s Resource Center is fighting against this horrifying statistic by hosting the nationwide campaign Take Back the Night, which will inform students how to stay safe on campus and allow them to learn about sexual assault awareness and prevention.
“This event will focus on increasing and maintaining safe spaces for women on campus,” said WRC Program Coordinator Malkia Hutchinson. “We plan on raising the visibility of sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape occurrences on campus.”
The first documented Take Back the Night took place in 1975 in Philadelphia. Citizens rallied together in remembrance of a young woman who was murdered by a stranger within a block of her home.
Katie Koestner, the first woman to speak out nationally about date rape, established the foundation in 1999.
This year’s event will feature trivia games related to myths and facts surrounding rape, tables from various campus and community organizations, and three guest speakers who received help from the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization.
“The guest speakers will be sharing their stories throughout the event,” Hutchinson said. “Their experiences of sexual trauma are diverse: Some were abused as children and some victimized as adults.”
History senior Lyndsie Harris is an active member of the WRC, and she said Take Back the Night is her favorite event of the year.
“It’s a very emotional and informing event,” Harris said. “Men and women gather and march around campus in protest of events that we hope to shed light on.”
The last half of the event will consist of a march and chant around campus to demonstrate the power of women and the need to feel safe in everyday environments. A candlelight vigil will close the event, along with a moment of silence to remember all women who are suffering or who have suffered from violence.
Take Back the Night is free and open to all students and faculty. The event begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Lynn B. Eusan Park.