‘Take Back the Night’ to march against sexual assault

Erinn Williams

Tonight, members of the Georgia Southern University community will be given the opportunity to speak out against sexual violence.

The Take Back the Night march will start today at 7 p.m. in front of The University Bookstore.

“I participate for multiple reasons. I think it is really good to do campus advocacy work like this because people don’t realize this affects the students and teachers around them. It is a positive outlook for this situation. It is something that I am very proud to support and I am glad that I can help in making a safe space for people to speak,” Candice Gary, senior music major, said.

Students are advised to show up around 6:30 p.m. to get signs to carry and shirts to be worn during the march while supplies last.

Sexual Assault Student Educators will also be there to help make signs, boost morale, and hand out water bottles.

The march which will go around campus and Georgia Avenue, is followed by a candlelight vigil and rally at the Rotunda where survivors are given an open mic to share their stories about how they have been affected by sexual trauma and sexual violence.

“It is something that shines a light on what is going on,” Kristen Baker, sophomore sociology major, said.

A moment of silence for those who have passed on is held as well.

In past years, the Clothesline Project, which is a visual display of t-shirts that honors survivors and memorializes victims of rape, domestic violence, child sexual abuse, and violence due to sexual orientation, is displayed during the rally and vigil.

But this year, if the rain continues, the shirts will remain displayed inside.

A survivor or someone who cares about the survivor or victim designs each shirt

Gabrielle Collins, senior health education and promotion major, said, “It is definitely eye-opening just seeing how many people are actually affected. It really hits close to home.”

It is one of the two events that the Georgia Southern University Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) is holding during the 14th annual Sexual Assault Awareness Week on campus.

SART raises awareness about sexual assault issues in the GSU community and works closely with the Statesboro Regional Sexual Assault Center and the Counseling center.

Take Back the Night, which began as a protest against the fear that women felt walking on the streets at night, is now an international event that raises awareness on these topics in communities.