Despite rain, Take Back the Night draws crowd
Annual march allowed sexual assault survivors to reclaim safe space on campus
About 50 students gathered in front of Kay Spiritual Life Center on Monday night, their umbrellas shielding them from the steady rainfall, to participate in AUSG Women’s Initiative’s annual “Take Back the Night.”
The event began with a march around AU’s campus led by drummers, and was followed by a speak-out inside Kay that allowed survivors to share their stories and experiences.
Take Back the Night kicked off April’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month, during which there will be multiple events happening on campus each week. According to an email about Take Back the Night sent out by Women’s Initiative, the goal of the event was “to create a safe, caring, inclusive space for survivors and supporters to come together and take back the night.”
“I think it’s so important to show survivors that they aren’t alone and that there are people in their immediate area there to support them,” said Director of Women’s Initiative Kendall Baron. “Experiencing sexual violence is incredibly alienating and giving individuals a space to share their experiences and by extension validate other people’s stories is such a powerful act.”
Students in the march carried posters and signs while chanting and dancing as the march wrapped around campus. The speak-out was just as well-attended, and staff from OASIS and the Wellness Center provided resources and information on sexual assault for those who were interested.
“I think Take Back the Night allows survivors to take up space and find hope in the fact that there are people out there that understand what they’ve gone through and that there are good things left after all the bad,” Baron said.