Every two and a half minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted. This statistic, from the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) Web site, exemplifies what many people in Fort Collins will be speaking out against and marching for tonight: to Take Back the Night.
Each year, up to the most recent data in 2003-04, the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Crime Victimization Survey reported an average of 204,370 sexual assaults. Still, sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes in our country, with more than half being unreported.
Tonight, women and men will stand up separately under the same cause: to denounce this obscene amount of sexual assaults and raise awareness about violence and abuse. While most of the marchers will probably be women, this is just as much a men’s issue.
Men are most often the perpetrators of sexual assault. However men can also be made victims. And while it takes a strong woman to stand up and tell her story, it also takes a strong man to stand up against the masses of their peers and make a statement that sexual abuse is not going to be tolerated.
Although statistics show that reported incidences of rape and sexual assault are decreasing over time, this is an ongoing, unfading issue that plagues our society. It takes events such as Take Back the Night to show the strength in numbers of men and women who stand up and say, “Enough.”
We urge women and men alike to take part in tonight’s march and rally. Even if you don’t speak, your presence alone helps reiterate the message that it’s time to Take Back the Night.