March Empowers Speaking Out Against Detrimental Violence

Students made sure their voices were heard in a very literal fashion as they spoke out against violence in the second annual Take Back the Night event Thursday.

Take Back the Night, an event hosted by the Women’s Center, allowed students to speak out about their experiences and later march around campus, showing students that the campus is and should be a safe place for students to walk around at night.

Take Back the Night started 35 years ago as a human rights demonstration in Philadelphia, according to Kat McGee, assistant director of the Center for Student Involvement and coordinator of the Women’s Center. However, she also added that after 35 years, we are still living in a “rape culture.”

The Women’s Center hoped this event will be a way to tell people on campus that it is safe to walk around at night; there should be no fear in doing so.

The first portion of the event involved volunteers speaking about their personal experiences. Many students participated, whether it was their 100th time or their first. Audience members showed their support for the speakers by snapping as a sign of respect and as a way of telling them: “I feel you, I am here for you, I support you.”

Healing Spaces, formally known as the Rape Crisis Center, was also part of the audience to show support for those who are suffering or once suffered from domestic violence and to make their available services known. Healing Spaces has a 24-hour hotline service, short and long term counseling services and is part of the sexual assault response team.

When everyone had a chance to speak about their experiences, a group of individuals gathered to march around campus and chant against violence against women and in support of a safer campus.

One of the main goals of the group was letting other people know that they can feel safe on campus, especially at night.

“Wherever we go, whatever we wear, yes means yes and no means no,” the group chanted.