Tackling the enormous problem of sexual violence begins with breaking its surrounding silence, and this year’s 34th annual Take Back the Night (TBTN) aims to do just that in a rally, march and speak-out event beginning 6 pm Thursday, April 25.
This year’s TBTN rally at the UO Amphitheater features speakers Maure Smith-Benanti, UO assistant director of LGBT Education and Support Services, and Patrick Lemon, co-founder of Men Can Stop Rape, and includes performances by the Radical Cheerleaders and Sexual Wellness Advocacy Team. Latin@ Youth Group Juventud Faceta will lead chants in English and Spanish during the march, and the speak out will begin at Cozmic with a spoken word performance by Andrea Valderrama, followed by participants sharing their experiences dealing with sexual violence.
Laura Doroteo of the UO Women’s Center says that talking about sexual assault in a way that supports survivors can help change societal beliefs. “In this society we do a lot of victim-blaming, and the idea that victims lie really discredits people who speak up,” she says. “Events like TBTN put blame where it should be — to the person who’s committing the act.” For more information, see http://wkly.ws/1ge.