Calls for action to end violence against women
On Saturday, April 9, 2011 hundreds of people will call for an end to violence against women at the 17th annual Toledo-area Take Back the Night (TBTN). The event will be held at the Eastern Community YMCA, 2960 Pickle Road, Oregon, OH and includes a Community Rally, a Women’s March, a Women’s Survivor SpeakOut, and a Men’s Program.
The Clothesline Project, more than 200 shirts created by local survivors of violence against women, will be displayed at the event along with the Silent Witness Project, a group of silhouettes remembering Northwest Ohio women murdered by intimate partners.
TBTN addresses all forms of violence against women, including sexual and intimate partner violence, stalking, sexual harassment, and child sexual abuse. The community rally, whose theme is “Think globally, act locally,” will include music, poetry, and speakers addressing local, national and global activism to end violence against women.
“Whether responding to the rape of more than 600 women in a village in the Congo or organizing court watch in Toledo to ensure that judges properly handle domestic violence cases, women all over are working together to create a world that is safe for everyone,” said TBTN organizer Sharon Barnes.
Diane Docis, TBTN organizer, said, “The TBTN rally will inspire us by highlighting several examples of activism, including some from our own community. We want everyone to leave knowing they can do something to make a difference.”
TBTN events are held around the world. In Toledo, TBTN takes place in a different neighborhood each year to engage different communities and to stress that violence against women happens everywhere.
According to organizers, the goals of TBTN are to support survivors, remember victims, and to encourage people to act to create a community free of violence. The Women’s March celebrates women “taking back the night” as a symbol of women’s right to safety and freedom.
The event opens at 6pm with the Clothesline Project and Silent Witness displays and a Resource Fair with local agencies and organizations. The hour-long Community Rally begins at 7pm and is followed by a 1.5-mile Women’s March through neighborhood streets.
The Women’s March returns to the YMCA for a Women’s Survivor SpeakOut in which survivors of violence against women share their experiences. During the Women’s March and SpeakOut, men participate in the Men’s Program, an interactive educational session on men’s efforts to end violence against women.
The event is sponsored by more than a dozen community groups, social service agencies, and university departments including: Bethany House, People Called Women, YWCA, Cocoon, Project Genesis, National Organization for Women-Toledo Chapter, University of Toledo: Sexual Assault Education & Prevention Program, Women’s & Gender Studies, Eberly Center for Women, Association for Advancement of African American Women.
More information at 419.530.3432 and www.ToledoTakeBackTheNight.org.