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Take Back the Night

Letter to the Editor | Sunday, February 22, 2009

The week of Feb. 22 to March 1, the Gender Relations Center on campus will be hosting Sexual Assault Awareness week. Along with other events, today, people on campus will be marching to Take Back the Night. Take Back the Night is thought to have begun in the late 1800s when women citizens in London protested the fear and violence they experienced at night. “Reclaim the night” took place in Belgium in 1976 by women who were attending the International Tribunal on Crimes against Women. This included a march with candles to spread the word and honor those who have been sexually abused. This came stateside in 1978 in San Francisco by Women Against Violence in Pornography and Media. The term “Take Back the Night” originated from a memorial read by Anne Pride a year before. The women were marching to protest rape, pornography and to protest all types of sexual violence. Take Back the Night is now done in many cities and locales, and the Gender Relations Center is proud that the march will be taking place at Our Lady’s University. It will be followed by a bonfire and SpeakOut, for all those interested.

Although Take Back the Night originated with women essentially trying to reclaim the night, we hope that the march is attended by both women and men. Sexual violence does not just affect women. Although sexually abused men are a smaller percentage of those affected by sexual violence, men of all ages are affected by the outcomes of sexual violence. The University of Notre Dame prides itself on being a tight-knit community of supporting students and faculty. We hope that this is manifested by support, by both men and women, toward the end of sexual violence.

Laura Lauck

junior

Welsh Family Hall

Feb. 18