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Take Back the Night supports survivors of domestic, sexual violence in a week of virtual events

| Monday, April 20, 2020

Take Back the Night (TBTN), a tri-campus event held annually to provide awareness and support for victims of sexual violence, has been converted to a series of virtual events to occur all this week. 

Executive producer for Show Some Skin: 20/20 Peyton Davis said their mission is to give voice to unspoken stories, including stories by survivors of sexual violence.

“Show Some Skin and Take Back the Night give space for people who want to tell their stories, but they are also healing for those who cannot tell their stories,” Davis said. “I think at the center of Take Back the Night is the role of words and how they help heal us. It’s hard enough coming to terms with your own story, but I don’t think people recognize exactly how hard it is to put them into words so that others can understand you.”

Although this year will be different from previous years, senior Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO) and SAC member Lauren Zinanni said over email they still want to preserve the value of the event.

“It’s unfortunate that we can’t all be together for TBTN this year, but we were dedicated to making sure it was not completely canceled for our community,” Zinanni said.

This year’s TBTN will be a week long instead of one night as it has been in the past, which will allow students to be able to virtually attend different portions of TBTN and ensure there are several opportunities for students to participate in the events. 

“With everything, the move to online has been a major adjustment. It’s much harder to coordinate and communicate, in general, but I think the beauty is that we’ll get to reach more people where they are,” Davis said.

TBTN will kick off Monday at 5 p.m. with a virtual poster party. People are encouraged to hang their posters in their windows or carry them during the walk in honor of survivors scheduled for Wednesday.

“This is an opportunity for everyone to create a poster (or whatever they can find in their homes) to show their support for survivors of power-based violence,” said Zinanni.

During the walk participants are encouraged to wear teal or an old TBTN shirt.

“Anyone who walks in honor of survivors is invited to share a picture or video via social media, tagging Take Back the Night ND SMC HCC and #TBTN2020,” Zinanni said.

The virtual speak out event featuring Show Some Skin will take place Tuesday night.

“This is an opportunity to stand in solidarity and listen to anonymous stories from survivors,” Zinanni said.

Davis noted trigger warnings for sexual abuse/assault, trauma and domestic violence.

“I know how deeply these stories can effect, and even trigger people, so I’ve been really doing my best to include trigger warnings as much as possible,” Davis said. “I’m excited for the digital production because it means we’re able to put trigger warnings directly before the monologues to protect those still in the healing process.”

Following the walk on Wednesday, TBTN will host a virtual healing event with the Family Justice Center in an evening of reflection, resources and trauma informed yoga.

Thursday morning participants can come together to celebrate virtual mass dedicated to survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and in the evening Show Some Skin 20/20 will host a talk-back on Instagram after it releases its show on YouTube.

“Show Some Skin: 20/20 was originally scheduled to be immediately after spring break, but of course, the performance was canceled due to the COVID-19 situation,” Davis said. “We’ve been working for the past five weeks to figure out how best to continue sharing these stories. On Thursday, April 23, we will have a virtual streaming of the show, modified for a primarily digital presentation. After the show, members of our leadership team and cast will take to social media for a live-stream discussion to answer any questions the audience may have.”

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