At least one out of every three women worldwide has been beaten, forced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime by a partner, relative, friend, stranger, employer or colleague.
Take Back the Night, an international series of events in April to educate the public, support survivors and make a loud call to end gender violence, culminates locally Thursday night. A rally, march and vigil, free and open to the public, will begin at Lambeth Field at 7 p.m. and end up at the McIntire Amphitheatre by 8 p.m.
Sponsored by the Sexual Assault Leadership Council at the University of Virginia, the event invites survivors to speak out – in narrative remarks, a poem or song – and others to bear witness to their stories.
The Sexual Assault Leadership Council is the umbrella organization of sexual assault-related student groups at U.Va. The council consists of representatives of several student peer-education groups: Sexual Assault Facts and Education; Sexual Assault Peer Advocacy; One in Four, an all-male peer education group that educates men on how to help survivors of sexual assault and works to help end violence against women; and Feminism Is For Everyone, a new feminist group and the brainchild of a budding feminist community and a conglomeration of pre-existing groups.
The council coordinates the efforts of these groups, helps organize Take Back the Night in the spring and Domestic Violence Awareness Week in the fall, and works to develop and refine the presentations of each of the peer education groups.
The student groups work with the U.Va. Women’s Center’s Sexual and Domestic Violence Services and the Office of the Dean of Students to further education, advocacy and support to survivors and the community.
See the website “Sexual Violence Education and Resources” for information.