“Take Back the Night” is an annual event sponsored by the Shippensburg University Women’s Center, which is meant to honor victims and survivors of domestic violence. This year it was held on Tuesday, April 2, at 7 p.m.
“Take Back the Night” began 30 years ago with the rise of the feminist movement in the 1980s.
It was meant to educate the American public about the issues women face in their supposedly safe homes as well as date rape and sexual assault.
There are startling statistics about sexual assault, such as 90 percent of women know their attackers and one in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes.
The presentation opened with a short video about what “Take Back the Night” means and why people participate in the event.
Tish Rothenbach, a representative of the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), shared her story and encouraged others to speak out against violence and seek help for themselves or for a friend.
A spokeswoman from the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) spoke briefly about how the YWCA is there to help people as well and is only a 10-minute walk from SU’s Campus.
Rothenbach and the YWCA speaker were followed by two student organizations: REACT and To Write Love on Her Arms.
REACT stands for Rape Educators and ConTacts. Its purpose is to offer counseling and advice for students who have gone through violence in their lives.
To Write Love on Her Arms focuses more on the mental health aspect of dealing with sexual assault.
REACT and To Write Love on Her Arms were not the only student organizations at the event. Delta Zeta and Phi Sigma Sigma sisters were also at the event to lend their support.
After the speeches were over, the student participants filed out of the Ceddia Union Building MPR, picked up signs, balloons and candles and marched around campus.
The signs had five chants on the back of them, that the students spoke as they walked through campus. The slogans went along the lines of “What do we want? No more violence!” and “When do we want it? Now!”
The march culminated with all student participants sitting in the CUB amphitheater holding balloons and unlit candles.
The students were asked to think of something positive or make a wish and then release the balloons into the air. After the balloons had been let go, the serious part of the night began.
Students came up to the microphone and shared their stories.