2015 Take Back the Night

Take Back The Night is an annual event that has taken place at Buffalo State since the 1970s. It raises awareness for sexual assault and violence prevention through the use of poetry, song, dance, and influential speakers. Held in the Rockwell Performing Arts Center this year, TBTN was a phenomenal show that expressed the importance of students doing their part to prevent sexual violence and empowered those who fell victim to this type of assault. Another theme of the night was community, ensuring victims that Buffalo State is here for them.  Dr. Kenyon, the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, expressed that one of their goals was to have a “campus free of sexual violence” and told everyone in the audience, “Remember to give hope. Remember to care. Remember you can change the course of history just by doing your part.”.

This hour-long show featured an amazing acapella performance from Buffalo State’s S.P.I.R.I.T Gospel Choir, moving testimonies from survivors, and two remarkable spoken word poems from students that blew everyone away.

Stacey Branchini, co-founder of It Happened to Alexa Foundation, was one of the speakers at the event. The foundation was created after her daughter, Alexa, was raped while attending Boston University and went to trial over the matter. This foundation helps financially support victims and their families during trials for this crime. Mrs. Branchini stated many victims reach out to two or three people before speaking with the authorities and those individuals have a greater impact on the victim than anyone else: “It is important for you to say two things to that person: I believe you. I’m here for you.” She concluded her speech with a phrase for all of us to keep in mind: “If fear is in the room, then consent is not.”

The event closed with an appearance by Darnell Barton, a Buffalo bus driver who stopped a woman from jumping off the Scajaquada Expressway overpass over a year ago. His act of kindness saved her life which again expresses the importance of people doing their part to help others.

Buffalo State’s Take Back The Night event continues to bring awareness to this type of violence and let victims know they are not alone for the faculty and staff will always be there for them.