Angela Rose Speaks for “Take Back the Night” at Mount Union

October 31, 2008

roseangelaAngela Rose presented “Put up a Fight…Take Back the Night” at Mount Union College on Wednesday, October 29.

Rose describes herself as an “accidental activist” and sees the problem of sexual assault as a silent problem because many people don’t realize the number of people it affects.

In 1996, Rose was leaving her job at a suburban Chicago shopping mall when she was held at knifepoint and abducted by a repeat sexual offender.  Rose was seventeen years old. She found out later that he had been stalking her and all of his victims looked very similar to her.

Following the attack, Rose educated herself on the issue and spoke to other victims of sexual assault.  Rose worked with other victims of her attacker as well as family members of victims he had killed. She was shocked to hear the extensive number of stories, many of which had previously been unshared or unreported.

Rose also shared how her best friend wasn’t there for her when she needed her the most. She stressed the point that if someone tells another that they have been a victim of sexual assault or abuse that they should 1.) Always believe that person, 2.) Be there and listen but don’t be overprotective, and 3.) Encourage them to report it, but don’t force them.

The hunt for the man that forever changed Rose’s life ended when she provided a sketch of his face that was so accurate somebody finally recognized him. .

Vowing to change the lack of activism on this issue, Rose started the first chapter of a nonprofit organization PAVE (Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment).  PAVE now has chapters in several states and uses social, educational and legislative tactics to raise awareness of sexual assault. Rose also instituted the organization Men Making a Difference (MMD), recognizing that sexual assault is not a “women’s issue” but a “human issue.”   

Take Back the Night was begun in the 1960s to encourage women to take a stand against violence within their communities as they seek to reclaim their right to live without fear.  This year's theme is Put up a Fight, Take Back the Night.

The program was followed by a moonlight march in honor of the victims to promote the message in a more public manner.

This event was sponsored by the Association of Women Students, Alpha Chi Omega, the Alliance Area Domestic Violence Shelter and the Alliance Area YWCA.

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