Working against sexual violence has been a passion of mine for years now. Through all the different programs I have participated in, the well known Take Back the Night has always been a favorite. Lexington is hosting our own Take Back the Night this Wednesday, led by the University of Kentucky’s Violence Intervention and Prevention Center.
My first Take Back the Night was in Ann Arbor, Michigan while I was an undergrad. I remember two of my initial reactions clearly – it was cold, and it was unsettling to be talking about rape, an issue that has become so stigmatized and politicized, so publicly. But any discomfort I felt went away quickly and I was left with just a feeling of awe. Inspired by the strength of the survivors who spoke out, the friends and family supporting their loved ones, the allies working to end the violence, and the community that came together put together this event – a community that finally did what was right and encouraged a diversity of voices and perspectives to speak out about rape.
Since my first Take Back the Night, I have been determined to continue to work to break the silence, continue to get rid of the stigma, continue to support the voices of survivors, in hopes of creating a community that every day makes it clear that victims and survivors aren’t to be blamed, but instead are to be supported and loved. Take Back the Night is a unique experience, one that is simultaneously heart-breaking and empowering. You stand and listen to how rape has effected the lives of so many people and it is shocking and sad, and frustrating. But you also watch as people come together, you witness people’s strength, and you are inspired to really try and make change.
If there is one event I could recommend, it would be Take Back the Night. VIP’s schedule for Take Back the Night is filled with wonderful parts and you can choose what you wish to participate in. The march starts at 7 PM at three different locations (Patterson Office Tower at UK, 3rd Street Stuff, and Thoroughbred Park). We will meet for the rally at 7:30 at the courthouse plaza, where we will have amazing guest speakers and performers, a speak out, and a candlelight vigil. And finally, there is the after party at 3rd Street Stuff. For more information, check out the VIP center’s website. I hope to see you there.Tweet