Take Back the Night

Apr 162003
Authors: Jodi Friedman

One in every four females has been raped before her sophomore year, and one in every three females has been raped in their lifetime. One in every four males has been sexually assaulted by the age of 18.

Tonight, these men and women will be given the opportunity to take back the nights that were so violently stolen from them.

Victoria Hamm, Co-Chair of Campus Women’s Alliance, gave these horrifying statistics. Take Back the Night is an event for women who have been sexually assaulted or have been in a relationship with domestic violence. It is a national event that allows men and women to speak out and be heard. It enables them to take back the control that perpetrators once had over them, even after physical scars have disappeared.

The event will start at 6 p.m. Women will meet at the Southern Sculpture Garden (on the west side of the Lory Student Center), and men will meet at the Southwest corner of the Oval. There, men and women will be able to share stories, discuss personal experiences, and read from journals about sexual assault and domestic violence. The gatherings will last about 1 1/2 hours. According to Hamm, the time is usually filled completely.

Around 8 p.m. or when the sun sets, women will march to Old Town Square to take back the night. Chants of empowerment will be yelled during the march, such as, “Hey, hey mister, get your hands off my sister!” and “No more violence! No more hate! No more silence! No more rape!”

Men will be waiting in Old Town Square to welcome the women in from their march.

“The march is women only. Men are able to participate by welcoming women in from the march,” Hamm said. “The march is symbolic to be able to take back the night without men’s protection.”

According to Hamm, it is really spiritual for some people.

“They are coming into a welcome ceremony where men are congratulating and welcoming women,” Hamm said.

Many community members participate. In the past, the age group has ranged from 12-to 60-years-old.

“The entire population gets to speak out about sexual assault,” Hamm said.

After the march, a joint rally will be held in Old Town Square to celebrate both men and women. Tara Lee and Kaleidoscope Studio will provide entertainment and music. Vans will also be available to transport participants and supporters back to campus.

According to Hamm, Campus Women’s Alliance is hoping for over 200 participants.

“Men usually make up a forth of the population,” said Hamm. “This year, we are expecting 50.”

Campus Women’s Alliance will also hold a self-defense workshop on Friday. For more information on Take Back the Night or the self-defense workshop, log onto the campus calendar at www.whatsup.colostate.edu or contact Victoria Hamm at (970) 231-5176.

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