Take Back the Night

Stan State students and faculty attend Take Back the Night to stand against sexual violence. (Signal Photo/ Amber Shortlidge)

The annual Take Back the Night event, that is held across the nation, had Stan State students and faculty gathering in front of Vasche Library, to take a stand against sexual violence. The event was moved from April to October due to the amount of cases of sexual assault recorded in the first few months of fall semester.

This event began in the 1960s in England and Belgium as a protest about women who did not feel safe to walk down the street alone at night.

Take Back the Night events are aimed to let victims, especially women of sexual violence, know that they are not alone. These events also let victims of sexual violence know that they can get help, and they have people who support them and will be there for them.

This event is normally held in April, however, the coordinators of this event at Stan State decided they wanted to hold this event in October because “the majority of sexual assaults happen within the first 90 days of the fall semester,” said Alex Aust, a coordinator of the event and housing employee. The coordinators felt that if they held this event later in the year, it would not have had as great of an impact or be as beneficial to the students.

If you are scared to walk alone at night Jennifer Staffero, a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) and counselor in Psychological Counseling Services (PCS) said, “I tell people who come into my office to try and walk with a friend as much as possible and to try and not walk alone. It is also really great to take self-defense classes because you feel so empowered.”

Even if you have not been a victim yourself, there is a chance that you may know someone who has. One in four women and one in six men are sexually assaulted in college, so students can attend these events to learn how to support a friend if they have been sexually assaulted.

As Chelsie Muro (junior, Liberal Studies) said, “In college we are not always aware of what is happening, and we have this new found freedom that we are not used to.” Take Back the Night aims to educate students and faculty of the all too real issue of sexual violence that occurs on college campuses as well as how to provide support for those who have been assaulted. 

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault you can get help at Stan State. To seek help from the University Police Department go here. To find out more about your rights as a victim of sexual assault or harassment go here. To receive counseling at Stan State go here for more information on setting an appointment up with a counselor. 

Shatter the Silence. Stop the Violence.

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