Take Back the Night!

20 04 2009

tbtn05With April being  National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, many universities and community organizations hold an event called Take Back the Night. The reason for this event is to create safe communities and respectful relationships through awareness events and initiatives. TBTN attempts to end sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual abuse and every other form of sexual violence.

The beginnings of TBTN are not exactly known. Some believe it began in 1877 when women demonstrated against the fear and violence they experienced on the night streets of London, while others think the first gathering happened in 1976 when women attending the International Tribunal on Crimes Against Women lit candles and marched the streets of Belgium to condemn the continuation of violence against women.

TBTN came to the U.S. in 1978 when protestors in San Francisco used the slogan after an anti-pornography conference. Individuals who’d been negatively affected by porn  shared their stories that evening. Today, survivor speak-outs are a huge part of TBTN; most rallies give survivors of violence the chance to give a voice to their incidents and publicly affirm their transition from victim to survivor.

Components of TBTN include candelight vigils, empowerment marches and survivor testimonials.

Since it has started, thousands of marches and rallies have taken place all over the world, and TBTN has inspired men and women to tackle several social issues like rape, sexual violence, domestic violence and violence against women and children. The main theme of the topics is the belief that all humans have the “right to be free from violence, the right to be heard, and the right to reclaim those rights if they are violated.”

For more information on TBTN, check out the website: www.takebackthenight.org.

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