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Take Back The Night (TBTN), an event on Thursday evening, Apr. 27, is being held to raise awareness about sexual violence. The rally begins at 6 p.m. outside the Northwest Ice Arena followed by a march to City Hall, a candle light vigil at Tracy Plaza, and a speak-out by survivors of sexual violence. The event brings together a collaboration of JCC’s Empower Me! student group, The Salvation Army Anew Center and the AAUW Jamestown Branch. April is Sexual Violence Awareness month and this event is meant to bring awareness to issues surrounding sexual violence.
Take Back the Night is an international event with the mission to end sexual, relationship, and domestic violence in all forms. Hundreds of events are held in over 30 countries annually. Events often include marches, rallies and vigils intended as a protest and direct action against rape and other forms of sexual violence. One in three women worldwide experience some form of sexual violence or intimate partner violence. One in six men experience sexual violence. Less than 50 percent of victims report these crimes.
“We serve to create safe communities and respectful relationships through awareness events and initiatives. Women across the world are taking back their voices by speaking out against these crimes, but there is much to be accomplished in the fight to end sexual violence. Crimes of this nature continue to appear in the news in epidemic proportions. As the history of Take Back The Night continues to be written, its mission to end sexual violence for all remains a beacon of hope for the millions affected by crimes of violence. We have made great strides, but our march is far from over.” – Quoted from the Take Back the Night website.
Since the 1970s in the United States, Take Back The Night has focused on eliminating sexual violence, in all forms, and thousands of colleges, universities, women’s centers, and rape crisis centers have sponsored events all over the country. TBTN’s history spans over half a century. Decades ago in Europe, women from many countries met together as a tribunal council to discuss women’s safety when walking down public streets. In 1973, TBTN goers protested pornography in San Francisco and serial murders of women of color in Los Angeles. In October 1975, a march was held in Philadelphia, PA after the murder of microbiologist Susan Alexander Speeth, who was stabbed to death while walking home alone. Canadians held one of their first marches to protest sexual violence in 1978 in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Vancouver Rape Relief held Take Back The Night marches from 1980-1985. In 1981, The Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centers declared the third Friday of September to be the designated date for Take Back The Night marches nationwide. Since the 1970s in the United States, TBTN has focused on eliminating sexual and domestic violence in all forms. Thousands of colleges, domestic violence shelters, and rape crisis centers have held events all over the country.
The Salvation Army Anew Center—empowering those impacted by domestic and sexual violence. For more information please call the 24-hour hotline at 1-800-252-8748 or 716-661-3897. AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. For more information go to www.aauw.org or www.jamestown-ny.aauw.net.