Virtual Take Back the Night event is April 2

Published: March 30, 2020 Author: George E. Mauzy Jr.

Take Back the Night, an annual march in Athens, Ohio, to end sexual violence, domestic violence, harassment and stalking, will be replaced by an online event this year.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a virtual Take Back the Night will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. EST, Thursday, April 2.

During the virtual march (or social media takeover), participants are asked to tweet how they will support survivors and end sexual and domestic violence using the hashtag: #SurvivorsUniteTBTN. Additional hashtags that can be used include:  #SupportSurvivorsBy #StartByBelieving #IWillWalkWithYou

To represent the Athens campus and community efforts, participants are asked to tag @ohiou and @CityofAthensOH in addition to #SurvivorsUniteTBTN.

“We are very pleased to have the ability to adjust and provide Take Back the Night as a virtual experience,” said Kim Castor, director of the Survivor Advocacy Program. “Despite the other issues going on in the world, interpersonal violence is still happening, and we must not turn a blind eye to it. I am happy that we are kicking off sexual assault awareness month in this manner. I hope that survivors and allies will join us and recognize the importance of this event.”

Dr. Geneva Murray, director of the Ohio University Women’s Center, said Take Back the Night programming has always been a time for campus and community to come together to support survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking and harassment.

She added that it is alarming that many news agencies have recently reported that Americans can expect to see a rise in domestic violence due to isolation and stay-at-home orders that may create more barriers than already existed for survivors to exit safely.

"Many of the survivors we work with struggle to reach out to our agency because of controlling partners," said Kelly Cooke, executive director of My Sister's Place. "We have seen a decline in the number of callers to our hotline in the last couple of weeks, presumably because more people are confined to their homes."  

Take Back the Night, which has had a presence in Athens and Ohio University since 1979, has received an exemption from mandated reporting in order to allow for full-campus participation by all members of the campus community.

Disclosures of incidents of sexual misconduct at this specified event will not be considered notice to Ohio University. Disclosures prior to the start and after the end time of the event are not exempt from mandatory reporting. 

Please visit Survivor Advocacy Program’s website for reporting options and resources:  

Take Back the Night is funded by Ohio University’s Student Senate and the Women’s Center. It is co-sponsored by My Sister’s Place and Survivor Advocacy Outreach Program, as well as the following Ohio University offices: The Survivor Advocacy Program, Health Promotion, Counseling and Psychological Services, Graduate Student Senate, and Housing and Residence Life.