Take Back the Night ends Violence Awareness Week at Ramapo

This past week, Ramapo’s Office of Violence Prevention (OVP) hosted events to raise awareness for Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Violence Awareness Week. 

The week started off with the online launch of “Are You Aware: Types of Abuse” social media campaign on OVP’s Instagram. This campaign consists of videos educating viewers about the different types of abuse, including verbal, financial and physical abuse.

OVP also encouraged students to sign the Ramapledge, a way for students, faculty and staff to show their dedication to maintaining a safe environment on campus. By signing the pledge, students promised to “help foster a safe campus environment in which rape culture is not tolerated.” 

The week continued with the Office of Title IX hosting Title IX Tuesday in the Fishbowl.

The biggest event of the week was Take Back The Night on Thursday evening. The event is named after a charity foundation whose mission is to “end sexual violence in all forms,” according to their website.

The event started in the Alumni Lounges with speakers from multiple health and violence prevention offices on- and off-campus informing attendees about the resources they provide. The talk was facilitated by the Assistant Director for the Center for Student Involvement and Coordinator of the OVP Marie-Danielle Attis and included Dr. Judith Green, director of the Center for Health and Counseling Services, Director of Title IX, ADA and Compliance Training Kat McGee, and a speaker from HealingSPACE.

The speakers provided information about confidential sexual violence hotlines, crisis counseling and free confidential health services for Ramapo students. 

“When I was here as a student, I also sat in this room and participated in the night marches,” said McGee, who is a Ramapo alum. “I see my job now, as a staff member, to be the person to help connect students to those important resources and make sure that you’re educated about what your rights are.”

The event then went into the speak-out portion where victims and survivors of all types of violence were given the chance to share their stories in a safe, supportive and non-judgmental space.

Afterward, attendees were led on a march to the Laurel Courts and down through the Village, chanting “Roadrunners unite / Take back the night!” and “Join together / Free our lives / We will not be victimized!” This night march is symbolic of Take Back The Night’s purpose and the organization’s efforts to put an end to sexual violence. 

The march ended in the Grove where attendees gathered around the Arch for the final vigil. McGee guided participants through “Light the Night,” where attendees were given battery-powered tea candles and told the group what that light meant to them as a victim, survivor or friend. 

“I hope you walk away with the power to speak up about rape culture,” said Attis. 




Featured photo by Jessica Hammer