Apr 15, 2012
By Tessa Dufresne
Amid news reports of continued sexual assault and domestic abuse stands Take Back the Night, an annual women's safety and empowerment week. Ohio University's 33rd celebration of the international movement begins April 16, helping to educate students on sexism, violence and the power behind speaking out.
Take Back the Night Week, which takes place on college campuses across the United States, is based on an annual national march in which participants walk to "reclaim the night" from the fear of sexual assault and violence.
"(Take Back the Night Week) gives students, men and women, an opportunity to speak out actively against sexual assault on campuses," said Victoria Calderon, Ohio University Student Senate's Women's Affairs commissioner. "They will be learning about the bystander effect, sexual assault and even self-defense throughout week, so by the time Thursday comes, they can take what they learned and march across campus to spread the message."
Thursday's rally will feature nationally recognized sexual assault educators Kelly Addington and Becca Tieder. Following a candlelight vigil and a Title IX A Cappella performance, the best friend duo, who grew closer through a sexual assault experience in their college years, will take attendees on their journey from being sexually assaulted to sexually empowered. Their keynote address will be followed by the march through campus.
Kelly and Becca have acted as consultants for Dateline NBC and been featured on national television shows such as "The Fox Morning Show with Mike and Juliet."
Along with the rally and march, this year's Take Back the Night Week includes:
Monday, April 16
- Take Back the Night kicks off at 7 p.m. in The Front Room with free food and poster making for Thursday's rally. Personal defense devices will be sold for $5 by the Delta Zeta sorority, with proceeds benefitting My Sister’s Place.
- The Clothesline Project, which gives survivors of sexual assault an opportunity to share their story on a T-shirt, begins at 8 p.m. in Bentley 015. The workshop is hosted by Sexual Assault Prevention Club. Everyone is welcome to decorate a shirt to support victims and survivors. T-shirts and paint supplies will be provided.
Tuesday, April 17
- Assault, Hate, and the LGBT Community – a discussion on the potential consequences of violence on a LGBT person and the community and how to help a LGBT friend – takes place in Baker 341 at 7 p.m.
- Survivors and their supporters will unite against attackers at the 8 p.m. name burning at McCracken Fields.
Wednesday, April 18
- A special men’s event at 5:30 p.m. in Baker 231 will encourage discussion about the role men play in sexual assault and tactics they can employ to put a stop to it. Also, the hot button question of men's allowance in Take Back the Night marches will be debated.
- A bystander intervention program will be hosted by the Survivor Advocacy Program’s peer advocates at 7 p.m., location TBD.
- Paint the Graffiti Wall with student organization People Acting for Gender Equality (PAGE) at 7 p.m. to raise awareness about rape culture.
- Miss Representation film screening begins at 8 p.m. in Walter 135. The film connects stories of teenage girls with provocative interviews from well-known names such as Condoleezza Rice, Lisa Ling, Nancy Pelosi, Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, Rosario Dawson and Gloria Steinem to give an inside look at the media and its message. The film’s motto, "You can't be what you can't see," underscores an implicit message that young women need and want positive role models, and that the media has thus far neglected its unique opportunity to provide them.
Thursday, April 19
- The Take Back the Night rally and march will begin at 7 p.m. at Scripps Amphitheater. Survivor advocates Kelly and Becca will keynote the rally. The Delta Zeta sorority will offer personal defense devices for $5 to benefit My Sister’s Place.
- Continue the celebration of sexual empowerment at the Take Back the Night march after party at Buffalo Wild Wings at 9:30 p.m., hosted by Graduate Student Senate.
Friday, April 20
- Personal Safety and Self-Defense Workshop with trainer Cheryl Cesta at 7 p.m. in the Women’s Center. Learn verbal skills and assertiveness as well as physical techniques to protect yourself.
Take Back the Night Week is coordinated by Ohio University Student Senate's Women's Affairs Commission with help from the Women's Center, the Survivor Advocacy Program and its peer advocates, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Center, Senate Appropriations Commission (SAC), AGE, Empowering Women of Ohio, Sexual Assault Prevention Club and Graduate Student Senate.
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