By Arthur Medrano |Staff Writer|
“Stand up!” and “Fight back!” student chanted, as the event dedicated to breaking the silence affecting all genders and sexualities.
The Women’s Resource Center at CSUSB held their annual “Take Back the Night” event on Friday, April 21.
A group of survivors came out one by one to speak out about their stories, telling the audience that they persevered and will continue to fight back.
Each participant came from a different background and their stories unfolded emotions that struck every corner of the SMSU.
Guest Speakers Yesika Salgado and Angela Aguirre, also known as Chingona Fire, shared their spoken word by discussing the social stigma women of color face and that each individual has a power within themselves to make change happen.
“I loved how brave these women were here tonight! I found that we stand strong in numbers and we cannot forget about the violence and embrace the unity found in moments like these,” said student Jessica Rivera.
There was an array of shared poems, spoken word pieces and resilience that uplifted the crowd as they became integrated with the stories of their colleagues.
During the speeches, there was one poem dedicated to the recent North Park Elementary shooting in San Bernardino that left a teacher and student deceased.
It represents a current issue that faces our community, as domestic abuse is a real factor that can lead to tragedy in even the most precious places.
There was also a firm integration of men present in full support of the event who share the same ideas of being against assault and a reminder that they too can be survivors or of sexual violence.
“Coming to this event allowed any survivors, supporters, and friends who have been directly impacted by domestic or sexual violence to share their perspective on the purpose behind this event and remind others to speak out,” explained Rivera.
Those who came to the event were offered t-shirts representing their attendance at the event and to show support for those who have been directly impacted by sexual assault.
After the event, participants and speakers time to socialize and speak out with one another on their views about the event, having self-disclosure among colleagues in a safe space.
Take Back the Night is an internationally known event that aims to make safer communities and more respectful relationships.
The origins of this event can be traced back from the death of Susan Alexander Speeth, a young microbiologist who was stabbed one block away from her house in 1975.
The month of April is also known as sexual assault awareness month and educates others while also giving victims the strength to speak out and seek help.