Take Back the Night rally in Blacksburg is Thursday, March 28
The 24th-annual Take Back the Night Rally and March in Blacksburg will be held Thursday, March 28.
The purpose of this rally and candlelight march is to bring the community together to protest violence against women and to promote awareness of attitudes, beliefs and behaviors that perpetuate this violence. Womanspace, which organizes this event, encourages everyone to take action to change our society — a society in which women have reason to fear being out alone at night.
Participants will assemble between 6:30 and 7 p.m. at the outdoor stage in the Graduate Life Center Plaza at Virginia Tech. The rally will be held between 7 and 7:30 p.m. Participants will then march through campus and downtown Blacksburg, returning to the plaza for a closing celebration. The march route is accessible for disabled persons. (The rain location is the Wesley Foundation at 209 Roanoke St.)
The first Take Back the Night event was held in Germany in 1973 in response to a series of sexual assaults, rapes and murders. Five years later in the United States, a Take Back the Night march was held in San Francisco; more than 5,000 women from 30 states participated. Since then, marches have been held in many cities throughout the U.S., Canada, Latin America, India and Europe. In Virginia, Take Back the Night marches have been held in Richmond and Charlottesville, and at Hollins University, Radford University, Roanoke College and Virginia Tech.
Marchers have called attention to violence against women — the sexual harassment, misogyny, rapes and murders. This violence affects both individuals in the community and the community as a whole.
Women, men and children are encouraged to march, either as individuals or as part of a group. Organizations are invited to bring signs or a group banner in support of Take Back the Night, which is part of Women’s Month 2013.
Each participant is asked to wear a purple ribbon tied with a knot for every friend or family member who has been sexually assaulted. Ribbons will be worn throughout Women’s Month to show support for victims and to protest sexual violence against all people. Purple ribbons will be available at information tables at Take Back the Night and each weekday at the Women’s Center at Virginia Tech, located at 206 Washington St.
Sponsoring organizations include AdvanceVT, Coalition for Justice, Cranwell International Center, Graduate Student Assembly, Help Save the Next Girl, International Women in Need, League of Women Voters of Montgomery County, LGBTA, Montgomery County NOW, Office for Diversity and Inclusion, Office of the Dean of Students, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, Raft Crisis Hotline, Sexual Assault and Violence Education by Students, Sexual Violence Prevention Council, Virginia Tech Interfaith Council, Wesley Foundation at Virginia Tech, Womanspace, Women’s and Gender Studies Program, Women’s Center at Virginia Tech, Women’s Month 2013 Advisory Committee, Women’s Resource Center of the New River Valley, and YMCA.
Together we will march to Take Back the Night!
– Submitted by Susan Anderson, Virginia Tech
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