May 21, 2024

On Oct. 8, Wittenberg students held the annual Take Back the Night event, which is put on by No Woman Left Behind.TBTN7
tbtn6Take Back the Night is an opportunity that allows victims of sexual assault and harassment to get the chance to speak out and tell their personal stories.
“It is meant to be empowering for both the people who tell their stories, as well as for the people there to listen,” co-president of No Woman Left Behind, senior Waverly Hebert, said. “So often, people who experience sexual assault and harassment are made to feel like they should be ashamed. They are often told that it is their fault, and this program allows them to take some of the power back.”
Each year, Take Back the Night gives those victims a “nonjudgmental and supportive” atmosphere to talk about topics that they may have never felt safe enough to speak about on previous accounts.
During Thursday’s event, students from Wittenberg conducted a walkout to join the Springfield community at the Candlelight Vigil promoted by Project Woman. Wittenberg’s Just Eve sang a selection of inspirational songs to the members of the Springfield community. Afterwards, the Wittenberg community shared its experiences with the victims of sexual assault or harassment.
“October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Project Woman’s annual Candlelight Vigil is an event to celebrate those who have survived, remember those we have lost and give hope to those who continue to endure,” Laura Baxter, executive director of Project Woman, said. “Thank you for joining together to create a community that makes a difference and supports the fight against domestic violence. Together, we can say ‘no more.’”TBTN2
Later, the Chrysalis Award was presented to Clara Copeland for being a long-standing ally and an influence in the movement.
“Please remember your sisters in times of need. Believe them. Be there for them, listen, support and accompany them for supportive help and healing,” Copeland said.
“I believe we have worked hard in our prevention and education efforts,” Baxter said. “Many here have joined us in intervention programming. We support a community that would stand for a culture of peace.”
Back at Wittenberg, members of the theater department performed some short scenes, and the floor was open to individuals who chose to tell their stories and express themselves.
“As far as fears go, it can be difficult to speak in front of strangers in any situation,” Hebert said. “In this scenario specifically, though, people are speaking about something traumatic and highly personal, and many people feel that their peers will view them differently following their revelations.”

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