Students speak out against rape culture at annual Take Back the Night event

Amid drizzle, Women’s Initiative hosted annual march and speakout for survivors

Take Back the Night 2019 took place on April 2 this year. 

Set to the sound of drums and a sprinkle of rain, AU Student Government Women’s Initiative hosted Take Back The Night, on Tuesday, April 2. 

Take Back The Night is an annual event for AU students to speak out and march with the purpose of creating a safe and empowering environment for survivors of sexual violence. 

The event began with a drumline march through campus, starting and ending at Kay Spiritual Center. The all-female band Batalá D.C. led the march, which ended with a drumline performance by the group. 

Following the march, the all-female acapella group “Pitches Be Trippin” performed for students inside Kay, followed by survivors sharing their stories of sexual assault. Many students attended as supporters, allowing survivors to know they are not alone in the fight against sexual violence. 

Freshman Hart Mankin had initially heard of the event as a national movement and attended out of support for family members. 

“A lot of people in my family and people I care about deeply have been touched by sexual violence on college campuses and it’s something I feel passionate about,” Mankin said.

Other attendees of the event found out through the Women’s Initiative and came to support all the work they do on campus. Freshman Emma Busch was inspired to attend after going to a separate WI event.

“I’ve been gradually going to different WI events because I like Women’s Initiative and what the bring to campus, and hearing about Take Back The Night and being a space to end rape culture especially on college campuses,” Busch said. “I wanted to show my support.”

As for the conversation surrounding sexual assault on college campuses, students agree more could be done to ensure student wellbeing and safety, and that events like Take Back The Night are a key step in achieving this goal. 

“A lot of the time rape culture is buried and embedded into the way we interact socially so to make it so visible and tangible and to have a lot of students represent how much they care is important,” Mankin said. 

sharrison@theeagleonline.com

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