October is Domestic Violence month and West Shore Community College, along with COVE (Communities Overcoming Violent Encounters), will sponsor a “Take Back the Night Rally and March” on Oct. 29, beginning at 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
“Take Back the Night” is held on college campuses to break the silence and end domestic and sexual violence. Victims of rape and domestic violence are called the “silent victims” because they are less likely to report crimes than any other group of victims. The event gives a voice to those people and is held all over the United States, Europe, Canada, Latin America, and India.
“Our purpose is to increase community awareness of issues of violence against women, and its interrelationship with all other forms of discrimination by educating ourselves and others about the extent and the nature of the violence that is systematically used against women to keep them from becoming powerful, autonomous individuals,” says Carla Shay, Director of Student Resources at WSCC.
“By honoring the memory of the victims of violence and celebrating its survivors and serving as a collective voice for women to demand a world in which their bodies, minds and souls are not targets of violence, we can truly take back the night, “ Shay stated.
“It is up to us, men and women, to take direct action against violence, whether it be through speaking out, lobbying, voting or some other form of activism and providing the leadership to challenge organizations and institutions to implement policies and initiatives which are effective in addressing issues of violence against women.”
The march will begin in the Schoenherr Campus Center cafe and proceed around the campus to locations where speakers will be present on topics related to domestic violence.
Free t-shirts and flashlights will be given away on a first come serve basis. Light appetizers will also be available before and after the event.
Victims of domestic violence should call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). The toll free number and help is available to callers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Hotline advocates are available for victims and anyone calling on their behalf to provide crisis intervention, safety planning, information and referrals to agencies in all 50 states.
Author: Thomas Hawley | Executive Director of College Communications & Community Engagement