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Take Back the Night Week to culminate in April 18 Rally
Take Back the Night Week to culminate in April 18 RallyApril 12, 2007Matthew R. Snydermrsnyder@syr.edu
The Syracuse University Rape Advocacy, Prevention and Education (R.A.P.E.) Center, a program of the Division of Student Affairs’ Office of Prevention Services, will host a series of workshops, speakers and gatherings for Take Back the Night Week, culminating in the Take Back the Night march, rally and speak out Wednesday, April 18, at 7 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel.
Sexual violence is a pervasive force affecting every member of society, especially on college campuses, where statistics show that as many as one in four college-age women experience a sexual assault by the time they leave college. The goal of Take Back the Night events is not only to educate the University community about the prevalence of sexual assault, but also to bring members of the broader Central New York community together to take a public stand against violence.
The Take Back the Night rally is open to students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the public. The rally will be followed by a march leaving from the Hendricks Chapel steps at 7:15 p.m., and a speak out in Hendricks Chapel at 8 p.m. Because of the sensitive matter discussed, the speak out will not be open to the media. Jerome Hall, men’s outreach coordinator for Vera House, Inc., and winner of the 2007 Social Justice Award, will be the keynote speaker for the rally. Free, public parking for these events will be in the Waverly and Marion lots. More than 500 community members, students, faculty and staff attended last year’s rally.
Take Back the Night is one of several initiatives that are increasingly uniting the University and the community in tackling the difficult issues surrounding gender violence. Other partnerships include Vera House’s 2007 White Ribbon Campaign, during which SU participants contributed more than $10,000 to Vera House’s record-setting effort in Central New York; the Syracuse Partnership for Violence Prevention, in which Vera House, the Center for Court Innovation, and SU are collaborating to train fraternity and sorority members in peer mentoring and the power of bystanders; and the hosting of speakers and panel discussions to share expertise in the field of violence prevention.
Organizers hope that Take Back the Night will help to create an atmosphere of zero tolerance of violence against women by:
- increasing community awareness of issues of violence against women and its interrelationship with other forms of discrimination;
- educating about the extent and the nature of violence that is systematically used against women to keep them from becoming powerful, autonomous individuals;
- honoring the memory of the victims of violence and celebrating its survivors;
- serving as a collective voice for women to demand a world in which their bodies, minds and souls are not targets of violence;
- empowering individual men and women to take direct action against violence, whether it be through speaking out, intervening in potentially violent situations, lobbying, voting or some other form of activism; and
- providing the leadership to implement policies and initiatives that are effective in addressing issues related to sexual violence.
For more information about any of the Take Back the Night events, contact Janet Epstein, associate director of the R.A.P.E. Center, at 443-7098 or firstname.lastname@example.org.