April is Sexual Violence Awareness Month – a time when communities across the country come together to provide support to the survivors of sexual violence and bring awareness to the issue. Programs and events are held throughout the month – including Take Back the Night.
The first Take Back the Night (TBTN) event began in England, in 1877, as a “women only” protest against the violence and fear women encountered walking the streets at night. In 1978, the first march in the United States was held in San Francisco to protest violence against women, particularly rape/sexual battery. While the march began as a way to protest the violence that women experienced while walking at night, the purpose of these marches was to speak out against this violence and raise community awareness as a preventive measure against future violence. Since then, Take Back the Night events have spread across the nation, broadening in perspective and taking on many forms.
USF’s 7th annual Take Back the Night will take place on Tuesday, April 16th at 6:30 p.m. in the MSC Amphitheater. The event includes a speak-out, a silent march, a candle light vigil, the REAL Men’s Promise, and the Clothesline Project of Tampa Bay. Hundreds of students, faculty, staff, and guests will gather to illuminate the shroud of darkness surrounding those affected by sexual violence and celebrate the healing and strength of survivors everywhere.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 20 – 25% of women in the United States experience attempted or completed rape during their college years. And, while this number is alarming, it is important to know that survivors of sexual violence are capable of 100% healing, that they are not alone, and that they are stronger than they know.
The “Stronger than I Knew” Project:
For additional information, please contact The Center for Victim Advocacy and Violence Prevention at (813)974-5756.