Annual “Take Back the Night” Program Held at Mount Union
November 02, 2009
Tara Brewster presented “But You Love Me Don’t You?” at the Association of Women Students’ annual “Take Back the Night” program on Wednesday, October 28 at Mount Union College.
Brewster, a trained sexual assault health educator and rape crisis counselor, shared a personal testimony of her experience with relationship violence and rape.
She told the audience about how she fell in love with her first boyfriend and how special that time was to her. Upon starting college at Virginia Tech University, she explained that her boyfriend quickly started displaying violent actions, but she was too love-struck to see.
“He would track down my car to see where I was and constantly accused me of seeing other guys,” said Brewster.
Even though she was pressured from her boyfriend, Brewster was firm in her convictions of abstaining from sexual activity.
“He would tell me ‘If you love me, you’ll do this to show me how much you love me,’” said Brewster.
On the night of her school’s main rivalry football game, only a few months into her first year of college, she became the victim of date rape.
“I never said yes,” said Brewster. “I never wanted it. I just stopped fighting. I cried the entire time, and I begged him to stop.”
Brewster pointed out that giving up a fight with a perpetrator is not consent. In conclusion, she urged all listening to continue the conversation of date rape beyond the night of her speech.
The program was followed by a moonlight march in honor of the victims to promote the message in a more public manner.
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. The event was sponsored by the Association of Women Students, the Alliance Area Domestic Violence Shelter and the Alliance Area YWCA.