‘Take Back The Night’ vigil shows support for survivors

Sophia Oswald

Take Back the Night, a nationally recognized event in protest of the persistence of sexual assault and domestic violence, will take place at 6 p.m. Oct. 29 outside Memorial Union.

Washburn was invited to be a participant in the Ten Points of Light portion of the night. There will be speakers, a march and a vigil at the event.

Sharon Sullivan, chair of the women and gender studies department, is leading the event at Washburn. She believes that raising awareness about sexual violence is important and that this event is an opportunity to show support for survivors in the community.

Sullivan said she hopes that the event will allow people to see some of the resources available both on campus and in the community.

“The two major resources on campus are the Catholic services and health services,” Sullivan said. “Those are places that our students can go and get confidential services so that they can get help with anything they need if they do experience sexual violence.”

Another off-campus resource in the community is Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), which offers free confidential counseling for individuals affected by sexual or domestic violence.

In recent years, Take Back the Night has been expanding its reach.

“They are changing the name of the organization to “Shine Your Light” because sexual assault and sexual violence happens day and night in the streets and in homes,” Sullivan said. “So they want to make the organization represent more than just what it used to 50 years ago.”

Sullivan sees the Ten Points of Light event as a very important opportunity for survivors of sexual violence to see the support they have from the community.

“This is a community event that is happening at Washburn where we want everyone to feel welcome to attend and show their support,” Sullivan said. “I hope that we have lots of our students turn out for this event to support one another as well as support the community.”