Take Back The Night, a worldwide event, arrived at Kent State University. Take Back The Night is a march taking strides to spread the word…Tyler Trill has more.
“Two, four six, eight, stop the date rape.”
Powerful words echoed throughout Kent State University’s campus Monday night.
Take Back The Night arrived on campus in pursuit to spread the word on sexual violence. Take Back The Night is a worldwide event, which began in the 1960s.
“It was around the women’s empowerment movement,” Jennie O’Connell, Director of the Office of Sexual and Relationship Violence Support Services (SRVSS) said. “It was around sexual assault, particularly sexual assault at night.”
Normally held in April, this is the first time Take Back The Night marched in Kent during fall semester.
“The fall semester tends to be a time of high likelihood of sexual violence,” O’Connell said. “In the fall, when people are new to campus, there tends to be higher numbers.”
Sexual violence is not a stranger to Kent State, in fact, it is not a stranger to any college campus.
“Sexual violence is an issue everywhere,” O’Connell said. “I wouldn’t say it is any different on Kent State’s campus or any campus or community. It happens, unfortunately, everywhere.”
O’Connell said sexual violence, even if you don’t think it does, affects everyone.
“It’s not something that happens out there, it doesn’t affect me, it affects all of us. Even if we, ourselves, haven’t been assaulted, we know somebody.”
Figures support O’Connell’s words. Displayed atop Take Back The Night’s website, statistics say one in every three women are exposed to sexual or domestic violence. One in six men experience sexual or domestic violence in his lifetime. These numbers are from Reproductive Health Response in Crises.
O’Connell said the best way to lower the numbers is to continue talking about sexual violence.
“We need to talk about this issue,” O’Connell said, “so it doesn’t feel like you’re being silenced when it happens to you, and that you know there are places you can go, there’s support, there’s resources. The more we talk about it , the more we can help to start bringing those numbers down.”
Lieutenant Chris Jenkins said as a nation, we needs to start educating about sexual violence at an early age.
“Teach people about good decision making, teach people potential perpetrators in sexual violence cases what they are actually doing.”
As the future is concerned, O’Connell says SRVSS plans to hold more workshops, such as a program called Green Dot, to teach attendants the signs of sexual assault.