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Take Back the Night Week to include April 13 rally, march
Take Back the Night Week to include April 13 rally, marchApril 11, 2005Edward Byrnesedbyrnes@syr.edu
The Syracuse University Rape: Advocacy, Prevention and Education (R.A.P.E.) Center will host its annual Take Back the Night (TBTN) rally, march and speak-out on April 13, beginning at 6:30 p.m. on the steps of Hendricks Chapel. The three events will conclude the 2005 TBTN Week that began April 7. Through interactive programs and awareness activities, TBTN Week aims not only to educate the women and men on campus about the prevalence of sexual assault, but also encourage everyone to take a stand against sexual violence.
“Take Back the Night Week is of the utmost importance because sexual violence is an epidemic in our society, particularly on college campuses. Statistics show that an average of one in four college women will experience a sexual assault. We hope that this year’s TBTN helps to create an attitude of zero tolerance toward this kind of violence,” says Janet Epstein, associate director of the R.A.P.E. Center.
The Take Back the Night rally, scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m., will be followed by the Take Back the Night march, beginning at Hendricks Chapel at 7:15 p.m.; the speak-out will commence at 8 p.m. The rally and march are open to the public; media will not be permitted at the speak-out because of the sensitive nature of the event. Parking will be available in the Irving Garage.
The R.A.P.E. Center will have information tables in the Hildegarde and J. Myer Schine Student Center from April 11-13, and at Ann and Alfred Goldstein Student Center on April 11.
The displays will feature the Clothesline Project and the “Got Consent?” campaign. The Clothesline Project, part of an international education effort about the personal impact of sexual violence, offers children, men, women and their supporters an opportunity to express themselves through their own artwork displayed on T-shirts. It provides them an opportunity to bear witness to their personal experience of violence and celebrate their transformation from victim to survivor in a powerful statement of solidarity. For many survivors, creating a shirt and then viewing it as part of the display becomes an important part of their healing. At SU, the project is the result of a community partnership that includes Vera House, Inc., the McMahon-Ryan Child Advocacy Center, among other community agencies. A Clothesline Project T-shirt-making workshop will be held at Hendricks Chapel on April 13 at 5:30 p.m. prior to the rally. Media will not be permitted at the T-shirt workshop because of the sensitive nature of the event.
The “Got Consent?” campaign, sponsored by the Office of Judicial Affairs’ University Judicial Board (UJB) Peer Education Team in collaboration with the R.A.P.E. Center and several student organizations, promotes acquaintance rape awareness. The UJB created T-shirts with a message about consent and are asking members of the University community to purchase and wear them on April 11 as a kick-off for TBTN Week. Along with the T-shirts, there will be information on campus resources and the definition of consent.
Included with the Schine and Goldstein activities will be the interactive “Hands Against Violence” project, which began during the 2004 TBTN. Members of the University community will be asked to make a handprint using fingerpaint, and with this print sign a pledge that their hands will not be used for violence.
The R.A.P.E. Center and more than 40 other co-sponsoring organizations endeavor to educate the campus community by: Increasing awareness about the prevalence of violence against women and its correlation with all other forms of bias; honoring the memory of victims of violence while celebrating those who have survived such violence; serving as a unified voice for women to demand a world in which their minds, bodies and souls are not targets of violence and empowering both men and women to take individual and collective action against all forms of violence and oppression through activism, including joining numerous anti-violence groups at SU.
“In raising awareness about attitudes that perpetuate violence, we’re looking to create a dialogue about the ways we can work together to make the night safe for all members of the community,” says Epstein.
For more information about any of the Take Back the Night events or the R.A.P.E. Center, contact Epstein at (315) 443-7098 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.