Virginia Tech hosts Take Back the Night rally on Thursday, March 29
The 23rd annual Take Back the Night Rally and March in Blacksburg will be held March 29.
The purpose of this rally and candlelight march is to bring our 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 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on the Drillfield in front of the chapel at Virginia Tech. The rally will be held between 7:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Participants will then march through campus and downtown Blacksburg, returning to the Drillfield for a closing celebration. The march route is accessible for disabled persons. (The rain location is the Wesley Foundation at the corner of Roanoke and Otey streets.)
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 U.S., 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 2012.
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 Street.
Sponsoring organizations include AdvanceVT, Amnesty International, Coalition for Justice, Cooper House, Cranwell International Center, International Women in Need (IWiN), 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 (SAVES), Sexual Violence Prevention Council, STAND, Wesley Foundation at Virginia Tech, Womanspace, Women’s and Gender Studies Program, Women’s Center at Virginia Tech, Women’s Month 2012 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, Department of Mathematics, Virginia Tech
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