Rally raises violence awareness

The struggle to end domestic violence and rape led students, faculty and community members to the 3rd annual “Take Back the Night” rally and march Saturday.

Approximately 100 men and women headed to the lawn near University Hall to listen to musicians and speakers and share personal stories about domestic violence.

Domestic violence and rape is becoming increasingly more prevalent in America, where one out of every six women experiences sexual assault, and one out of every four women will face some sort of domestic violence during her lifetime.

Women of color are even more likely to experience domestic violence or rape, said Emily Resnik, president of the Organization for Women’s Issues, which sponsored the event.

The event was geared toward making people more aware of the violence against women and the title, “Take Back the Night,” is an ode to the fear women may have walking the streets alone at night fearing an attacker could be lurking around the corner.

Historically, the topic of domestic violence has been swept under the rug and was not discussed in a public forum.

This year, everyone who attended was allowed to take part in the march, which has not been done in previous years where only women were allowed to march.

“I love the march, because the march makes me feel the most empowered, we are demanding our voices be heard,” said Joelle Ruby Ryan, president of Transcendence.

Even though men do not have to deal with near as much domestic violence, they serve an important role as allies.

An ally is someone who has not experienced rape, domestic violence or assault, but is interested in fighting for the cause; someone who uses their voice to create a better world, Resnik said.

Sophomore Phil Boda, acting as an ally, tried to get people to come to the event through Facebook invitations and word-of-mouth.

“If we can’t sit there for a couple of hours a year to speak on an issue that’s becoming an epidemic, if we can’t be there for women, then what are we doing here?” Boda said.