By Elina Urrutia IStaff WriterI
Take Back the Night is an international event and non-profit organization with the mission of ending sexual, relationship and domestic violence.
One of the first “Take Back the Night” marches was held in Philadelphia, Pa. in October 1975, after the murder of Susan Alexander Speeth, a microbiologist who was stabbed to death while walking home alone.
“April is sexual assault awareness month, which is why we have Consent Week, The Clothing Line Project, and Take Back the Night, all in one month,” said Felicia De La Isla, staff at the Women’s Resource Center (WRC).
“It’s also a place where they can share their story if they want to during our open mic portion, and a chance for them to take a self-defense class,” continued De La Isla.
Sexual assault is real—statistics show that one out of five women are sexually assaulted while in college.
“The first time I heard of it, it was a reaction and a protest against administrators asking victims; Where you drinking? Where you out late? Where you dressed a certain way? The point was saying those things don’t matter,” said WRC staff member Marissa Wollard.
“If I was attacked or assaulted that should be the main focus along with my well-being, rather than what I could have done to prevent it,” said Wollard.
Take Back the Night empowers women and makes more people aware of real situations that occur in daily life.
It definitely opens a window to anyone, letting them know that they are not the only ones going through it.
“I think sometimes seeing things like this makes people feel desensitized or doesn’t have much of an impact on people because they are so used to either seeing it in different places or it is not relevant to their own persona,” said student Yvonne Rojas.
Many times people believe that simple things like placing images and writing on a shirt will not make much of an impact on others.
Especially when believing, “it won’t happen to me,” when in reality it can happen to anyone, including themselves.
“You hear about sexual assault and about domestic violence all the time, but for it to take up as big of a physical presence as it does in the student union. “It makes people stop and be drawn in because you are surrounded by these people and what they’ve been through and it’s a wake up call, a here it is,” said professional student feminist Emily Erwin at the WRC.
Throughout decades, Take Back the Night has been an eye opener for thousands of people.
It has been an event here at CSUSB that tells women of all ages and ethnicities that they are strong and powerful, and will continue to be.
Furthermore, letting them know that they are not what happened to them and that regardless of what anyone labels them as, they are not guilty for the damage another person brought upon them.
It is a way of informing women know that they are not alone, that there are people who completely understand what they are going through or have gone through.
Not because they have done their research but because they have also been a victim themselves.