Take Back the Day brings awareness to sexual assault


Samantha Middendorf, Entertainment Editor

Roughly 80 people went out Saturday to run a 5k in support of the Sexual Assault Counseling and Information Service as well as ending sexual assault and violence in Sister City Park for the first Take Back the Day 5k.

Participants, including community members and Eastern students and faculty members, received ribbons after completing the race. The top runners received trophies. Other participants were entered in a drawing for gift cards to local businesses.

Awards were given to Taylor McMillan, the top female runner, and Ryan Woods, the top male runner.

A special award was given to Bill Perry for “Fastest President.”

Erin Walters, executive director of SACIS, said the purpose of the 5k is to raise awareness to the times sexual assault could occur.

“We know that sexual assault and violence is a year-round thing,” she said. “We have to really draw attention to the fact that it exists, and we want to put an end to it.”

SACIS typically hosts several events in April, because April is sexual assault awareness month, but Walters said they wanted more events throughout the year to represent that sexual violence could happen at any time.

“We do a Take Back the Night march in the spring, that says we deserve to have a community free from sexual violence,” she said. “We should walk freely without the threat of violence, without the threat of being raped. That doesn’t change day or night.”

Walters also said she wanted to shine a light on the myths surrounding sexual assault and violence and prove to the community what the truth is.

“There’s a myth that sexual violence occurs at night, after a party, in dark areas and that the perpetrator is hiding in dark areas,” she said. “The fact of the matter is those are rarities, and that the majority of the time sexual violence occurs at the hands of someone you know and trust, and it can happen at day or at night.”

SACIS offers free, confidential counseling, medical and legal advocacy, and support for victims.

The race ended within an hour and a half of the starting time.

SACIS will be hosting a Zumbafest from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 1, which will go along with their hopes to teach people sexual assault should not be discussed only one month out of the year.


Samantha Middendorf can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].