Take Back the Night, an annual event to end the silence of sexual assualt survivors, will take place at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, and is sponsored by the following grassroots organizations: Feminism is For Everyone (FIFE), Sexual Assault Facts and Education (SAFE), Sexual Assualt Peer Advocates (SAPA), and One-in-Four (an all male coalition to end sexual assault in our community).
The Take Back the Night Kick-off Party for Charity is an attempt to take an optimistic stance towards the fight of sexual assualt in our community, while featuring the musical group MEN (JD Samson and Johanna Fateman of politically charged feminist band Le Tigre). Tickets will be sold, and all proceeds for the event will go towards local shelters and agencies that fight daily to make our community safer against sexual offenders.
The following week will include a wide variety of events including a series of films that will be screened dealing with women's issues, a panel on dating a survivor of sexual assualt, and a few other small scale events that have yet to be finalized.
The events will culminate on Thursday, April 3rd, with a rally to vocally raise awareness of this issue and to show support for this cause from members of the community. Following the rally, a vigil will be held at the University of Virginia where students and community members will be able to anonymously share their stories, in an attempt to make it clear how prevalent sexual assualt is in our community, how widely we are all affected by this issue, and to empower the survivors to speak up about what has happened to them.
The event also fights to remove any guilt, on both a personal and social level, of survivors of sexual assualt. Often it becomes easy for survivors to feel as if they were somehow to blame for the violence that was forced upon them, and it is our goal to eliminate that guilt and to liberate them from their offenders.
Furthermore, we seek to portray sexual assualt as a universal issue, affecting both women AND men. Safety shouldn't be a privilege, it should be a right, especially within a college community where we are expected to work with and trust our peers.
Feminism is For Everyone's website: http://www.fife.student.virginia.edu
One-in-Four Website: http://www.student.virginia.edu/~1in4/
Sexual Assault Peer Advocates website: http://www.student.virginia.edu/~sapa/index.html
Sexual Assualt Leadership Council website: http://womenscenter.virginia.edu/sdvs/salc.htm