20th annual Community gathering to raise awareness of violence against women and calls community to action
On Saturday, April 26, 2014, hundreds of people from throughout Northwest Ohio will gather at University of Toledo Scott Park Campus auditorium, for Toledo’s 20th Annual Take Back the Night event. The program begins at 7pm with a Community Rally featuring speakers and musicians addressing violence against women, followed by 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 beginning at 6pm along with the Silent Witness Project, a group of silhouettes honoring Northwest Ohio women who have been murdered by their partners or former partners, and the Bandanna Project which raises awareness to end sexual violence against farmworker and immigrant women in the workplace.
Take Back the Night events are held in communities around the world. In Toledo, Take Back the Night takes place in a different neighborhood each year, demonstrating that violence against women happens everywhere. The goals of TBTN are to raise awareness about violence against women, to support survivors of violence against women, and to emphasize that everyone has a role in creating a community free of violence. By walking in the streets together to take back the night, women are also symbolically taking back their homes and lives from violence.
“Take Back the Night reminds us that for too many women, neither homes nor streets are safe places,” says Diane Docis, a member of the TBTN organizing collective. “Millions of women are stalked every year. A woman is battered, usually by a male partner, every 15 seconds. One in six women in the U.S. have survived rape or attempted rape--more than 80% committed by a perpetrator who knows the victim. And even women who haven’t survived violence must live everyday with the threat of violence. By taking back the night, we are saying, ‘Enough. This is unacceptable. ’”
The rally is followed by a one-mile Women’s March through the neighborhood around Scott Park. The Women’s March returns to Scott Park Campus for a women’s Survivor SpeakOut in which survivors of violence against women share their stories. During the Women’s March and SpeakOut, men are invited to attend a Men’s Program to discuss how they can work to end violence.
The event is sponsored by community groups, social service agencies, UT Feminist Alliance and university departments.
o Rape Crisis Center 419-241-7273
o Battered Women’s Shelter 419-241-7386