The Student Health, Wellness and Counseling Center, along with members of the Linfield and McMinnville communities, are hosting a Take Back the Night rally and march in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) on April 30.
The rally and march will take place at 6:30 p.m., starting at Walker Hall. The goal of the event is “to raise awareness about sexual assault, to demonstrate community solidarity and show support for survivors,” said Adria Godon-Bynum, the new coordinator for student health wellness.
“Take Back the Night is an international event that includes a rally and march to protest and seek action to put an end to rape and other occurrences of sexual violence. It originated in Europe in the ’70s as part of the International Tribunal on Crimes against Women. Subsequently, marches and rallies were held soon after in response to egregious sexual violence and staggering rape statistics,” Godon-Bynum said.
The idea behind these events was that women should be able to be out in their community day or night without living in fear, Godon-Bynum explained.
“Since then, the marches have grown to include men and boys in the recognition that girls and women, boys and men and members of all communities are affected by sexual violence, and that in order to effect change, a community must work together to put a stop to these crimes,” she said.
Despite the fact that it won’t be dark during the event, the “night” symbolizes the silence and fear surrounding sexual violence, Godon-Bynum explained.
Participants will have the opportunity to write messages of protest or words of hope on biodegradable balloons, which will be released at the end of the event.
“Break the silence, break the fear,” Godon-Bynum said.
Jessica Prokop can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.