GV takes back the night from sexual assault

GVL Archive
Student participate in last years Take Back the Night march

GVL Archives

GVL Archive Student participate in last years Take Back the Night march

Kendal Pektas

The annual event, coordinated by Eyes Wide Open, begins at 7 p.m. in the Grand River Room in the Kirkhof Center with a keynote speaker. After the speech, participants will have time to visit tables set up by other student organizations at GVSU and local organizations that provide support for survivors before the group moves outdoors for a march around campus.

“We are devoted to the task of ending sexual assault, intimate partner violence and stalking on our campus,” said Jordan Cross, EWO president. “There will also be several great organizations hosting tables during the speech portion of Take Back the Night.”

Marta Sanchez is this year’s keynote speaker. As a survivor, author, advocate and visual artist, she will present the audience with a truthful and elaborate presentation in regards to ending sexual assault. Sanchez encourages individuals to make themselves aware of the real, day-to-day problems about sexual crimes. Her unique exhibits, which contain both her poetry and art, guide in educating people and increasing awareness about sexual violence.

“The truth is that sexual assault is a topic that most folks don’t feel confident talking about, so most people are uneducated about it,” said Jacob Blowers, EWO treasurer. “So, anyone who comes will definitely learn a lot. The march afterward is also really empowering, especially for the survivors who participate.”

TBTN raises awareness of the realities of sexual assault in the community and on campus, and it also is an event that represents victims and survivors.

“The name of the event comes from the notion that victims become survivors once they reclaim their power that was taken from them during their assault,” said Jessica Krebs, EWO vice president. “This event creates a safe place for victims to do just that, while continuing to support and empower survivors.”

Sexual assault is a major issue that can affect anyone. At GVSU, one in five women and one in 15 men will report having experienced sexual assault during their time on campus.

“We feel it is of the utmost importance that students are aware of these statistics in an effort to break the silence that so often accompanies these acts of violence,” Cross said.

Take Back the Night is a nationwide movement that began in Philadelphia in 1975.

The event is free to attend and is funded through GVSU’s Service and Advocacy funding board, in addition to private fundraising efforts coordinated through EWO.

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