Community members to raise awareness for sexual violence in ‘Take Back the Night”

Analicia Haynes, Administration Editor

Eastern and Charleston community members will “Take Back the Night” at 6 p.m. Wednesday as they encourage survivors of sexual harassment or assault to feel empowered.

For 25 years, the Sexual Assault Counseling and Information Service has hosted “Take Back the Night” as a way for individuals to raise awareness about sexual violence on the streets as well as rape culture.

The rally will kick off at 6 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

A march will be at 6:45 p.m., and after the march participants will have the opportunity to share music, art, dance and poetry during “Voices and Visions of Strength,” this year’s theme for “Take Back the Night.”

Amanda Feder, the community preventionist for SACIS, said they change it up every year, and this year should be neat because they scheduled everything ahead of time.

Feder said the rally, the march and the performance afterward is a way for survivors to engage more with the community and build an understanding about rape culture.

“It’s a nice way to bring everyone together,” Feder said.

Feder said this is an ongoing march and anybody can be a victim, not just women.

“One person is enough,” Feder said. “Once you realize that it is not just strangers who are victims but your friends then it changes how you see things.”

Feder said this will be a way to call attention to sexual assault and she said the community can make a change.

“(The) community can make that change and try to put an end to this (sexual assault) and we need that effort because it can’t fall on the victim,” Feder said.

Jana Roberts, the administrative assistant for SACIS, said the march is a national phenomenon and is big on campus.

“It shows them (survivors) that this is a supportive environment and these are people who understand,” Roberts said. “People have been affected by sexual violence whether they are aware of it or not.”

Feder said survivors will realize that the assault was not their fault, and they can receive that reassurance from the event.

“It’s never the victims fault,” Roberts said.

Feder said the only way to understand sexual violence and the affects of rape culture is to talk about it and educate the community and not treat it like it is taboo.


Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]