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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Sexual assault survivors ‘Take Back the Night’

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Hosted by campus and community organizations, “Take Back the Night” helps raise awareness for sexual assault survivors during Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Survivors of sexual assault and advocates at Texas A&M will host an event to raise awareness and show support.  

As a part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Health Promotion, Feminism 4 Aggies, Sophomore Leaders Impacting, Developing and Educating, or SLIDE, and over 14 community partners are hosting Take Back the Night on April 7 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Rudder Plaza. The event will consist of tabling, a keynote speaker, testimonies of survivors and a march, as well as a silent auction that is currently open and will close at the end of the evening. 

Take Back the Night honors the international movement that was started in the 1970s, Denise Crisafi, health promotion coordinator in the Offices of the Dean of Student Life, or ODSL, said. The movement gained traction in three major cities: Philadelphia, San Francisco and Los Angeles, Crisafi said.

“It was a response really rooted in misogyny — women not being recognized as victims or survivors of domestic violence or sexual violence,” Crisafi said. “Those didn’t even become federal crimes until 1994.”

During the event, organizations will table, provide resources and answer questions. A march will take place starting at Rudder Plaza, going to Academic Plaza and back with posters made by student organizations. Public health junior Mariana Salomao, president of Feminism 4 Aggies, said the night is intended to educate the public.

“The goal is to raise awareness that this happens a lot more than [people] realize and to end all forms of sexual violence,” Salomao said. 
The silent auction will be hosted by the Sexual Assault Resource Center, or SARC, Unbound, Twin City Mission-Domestic Violence Services and Scotty’s House. Students can participate in the online auction or donate directly.
“This is acting as a fundraiser for our local nonprofits who are survivors-support services,” Megan Woodfield, health promotion specialist in the Offices of the Dean of Student Life.

The event will include a performance from the Femmatas, an acapella group, as well as testimonials from survivors. Woodfield said the speakers will be exempt from Title IX policies, which mandate A&M staff to report instances of crime, including sexual assault, which are shared with them, during this time.
“If there are students there who are participating and feel called to share, they don’t have to worry about the A&M staff who are present having to do anything with that,” Woodfield said.  
Salomao said people should also do their own research and try and help survivors however they can. Take Back The Night is a time to remind survivors it’s not their fault, she said. 

“When you’re a woman or someone who is at high risk at night, you’re afraid of what comes,” Salomao said. “This night is to [say], ‘No, this night is ours. We don’t have to be afraid.’”

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