Monday, October 3, 2022

Take Back the Night Event Organizers Advocate to End Sexual Violence

By Michael Laurence and Andranita Williams
Broadcast journalism students

Take Back the Night was an event put on by The University of Mississippi on Tuesday April 6, 2019.

The event featured numerous on and off campus organizations who all collaborated to help support the movement against sexual violence.

“We’ve always had and will continue to have assault so what we do is we stand up and we speak out and make sure the survivors are heard,” said Jordyn Ellis who serves as the treasure for RASA.

RASA stands for Rebels Against Sexual Assaults the organizations hosts events on campus that bring awareness and give victims a voice. The goals of the event is not only to bring awareness to the community, but to speak out and make sure that the survivor’s voices are heard.

“People come up and they share their story and they tell us how much we’ve had an impact on campus and it’s really hard to track number wise or statistically how much we are affecting this campus by what we do, “ said Ellis.

The event began with many university and keynote speakers discussing the significance of the Take Back the Night event. Then a march rally with the Ole Miss ROTC occurred following survivors of sexual assault to share their story anonymously or openly, which at the request of the counseling advisors for privacy, all cameras were turned off.

“To let them know that they don’t have to tell it at any certain point. It’s totally up to you to them, to say I’m ready to tell the story. I’m ready to tell my experience,but also it’s okay to say I’m not ready,” said Caelyn Ditz who is a staff member.

A song written by survivors of sexual assault moved the crowd with an inspiring message.

“The song definitely had a positive message a very strong message being that it was written by a survivors of domestic violence and it sent out a really good starting point for the event,” said Ditz.

Towards the end of the night, a glow stick virgil helped conclude the event, serving as a powerful reminder to the survivors about the community standing with them and that they are not alone through the healing process.

Take Back the Night is also an event growing internationally. Seen in more than 40 countries worldwide and is expected to gradually increase public interest and involvement within the next few years.

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