Take Back the Night Held at Mount Union College

April 13, 2010

"Take Back the Night,' a program designed to address concerns about violence and encourage citizens to unify in the struggle against violence, was held at Mount Union College October 24.

 'Take Back the Night' was begun in the 1960s to encourage women to take a stand against violence within their communities as they sought to reclaim their right to live without fear. The theme for this year's event was 'Break the Silence to Stamp out Violence.' Sponsored by the Association of Women Students, Alpha Chi Omega Sorority, the Alliance Area Domestic Violence Shelter and the Alliance YWCA, the event featured two guest speakers and a clothesline project followed by a moonlight march across campus.
 'Let's Talk About 'IT'' was the presentation given by featured speakers Kelly Addington and Becca Tieder. Addington and Tieder, friends since they were freshmen in high school, stressed the importance of being comfortable discussing the topic of sex. They shared that one in three women are sexually assaulted, as well as one in ten men and also distinguished between what constitutes date rape as opposed to rape.

Addington shared about her personal experience with date rape and how she didn't report the rape because she didn't want to hurt anyone else and ended up feeling alone, guilty and ashamed. It wasn't until six months later that she finally began telling people about what had happened to her and asking herself how she could make a difference for others. She offered suggestions on how to help prevent date rape and support friends who find themselves victims.

'Have confidence in yourself and make a plan before you go out,' Tieder said. 'You have the power to make Alliance and Mount Union College the safest place possible.'

The Clothesline Project consisted of t-shirts strung across the Campus Center hallway that had been decorated by students as a way to express their feelings about violence, particularly when it is directed against women.

The event concluded with a moonlight walk across campus during which marchers carried anti-violence posters and chanted against violence.

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