Event makes stand against violence, sexual assault

For the 21st consecutive year, Murray State and the community surrounding the University will come together to take a stand against domestic violence.

Take Back the Night, an annual event sponsored by the Women’s Center, is Oct. 3 at Cutchin Field.

The first documented Take Back the Night event in the U.S. took place October 1975 in Philadelphia, Penn.

Thirty-eight years later, ceremonies are still held across the country, taking a stand against rape and violence.

Abigail French, Women’s Center director, said Take Back the Night is a program of speakers, personal stories, music, poetry and emotional experiences to call attention to and protest all forms of sexual assault and relationship violence.

According to takebackthenight.org, one out of every three women worldwide has been beaten, forced into sex or abused. Of these crimes, less than 50 percent are reported.

Take Back the Night rallies are held on campuses across the country to show support for victims and survivors of relationship violence and to encourage students, faculty, staff and community members to be active participants in ending a culture of violence, French said.

A pre-concert featuring Voices of Praise will begin at 5:45 p.m. and program will begin at 6 p.m.

The program will end with a candlelight march through campus. Attendees will carry white roses that honor individuals who have died due to relationship violence in the state of Kentucky.

The Candlelight March ends in the dance lounge in the Curris Center for the Clothesline Project Ceremony.

The Clothesline Project is a visual display that bears witness to violence against both men and women. In the display, painted shirts are hung on a clothesline. Each T-shirt is decorated to represent a particular woman’s experience, by the survivor herself or by someone who cares about her.

Each shirt reveals a victim’s response to childhood sexual abuse, stalking, rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, homophobic violence or verbal and emotional abuse.

People create black shirts who have not been victimized, but who wish to take a stand against domestic violence and sexual abuse, while white shirts commemorate the life of someone who died as a result of violence.

The event is open to the public and French said she encourages anyone who wants to take a stand against rape and violence against others to attend.

 

Story by Meghann Anderson, News Editor