One in three women and one in six men experience sexual violence. Take Back The Night (TBTN) is trying to end that. TBTN is an international march in support of ending sexual assault. Survivors, advocates and friends come together to celebrate strength, to present a night of empowerment and to break the silence.
Victims of sexual assault are called “silent victims” becasue they are less likely to report crimes. TBTN is giving a voice to those victims and speading the word to end sexual violence. TBTN as a charitable foundation started in the late 1960s. Its mission is to “create safe communities and respectful relationships through awareness events and initiatives. [They] seek to end sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual abuse and all other forms of sexual assault.” These Take Back The Night events have occurred in 30 countries with over 600 campuses and communities being involved.
Kent State held its own Take Back The Night walk on Oct. 3. The event started at 7 p.m. on the student green. The first 50 people to show up received a free shirt. Participants of the march were allowed to tie a ribbon on their arm, if they chose to do so, to show what violence they are advocating for. Purple represented domestic/partner violence; blue represented childhoood sexual abuse; gray/silver represented stalking; teal represented sexual assault; pink represented experienced sexual assault due to identifying with the LGBTQ community; yellow represented confidential advocate and white represented ally.
After mingling and making signs, participants sat on the steps of the student green and listened as a speaker told her story and told her truth. Next, the Students Against Sexual Assault rallied everyone up and led the march. They marched from the student green to the Williamson Center, which is where the Women’s Center and the Office of Sexual & Relationship Violence Support Services (SRVSS) are housed. During the march they chanted for peace, for freedom and for the end of sexual assault.
Kent State provides services on and off campus. If you or someone you know has been a vicitm of sexual violence, dating violence, etc. and would like to receive help, contact the SRVSS office, KSU police services, University Health Services, Psychological Services, the Office of the Student Ombuds, Step Up Speak Out, Town Hall II and Safer Futures.