Athens, Ga. – April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and the University of Georgia and Athens-area organizations have come together and to plan this year’s “Take Back the Night” event, an international rally and march that is organized in local communities. The goals of Take Back the Night are to raise awareness about sexual violence and to empower individuals and institutions to engage in action against sexual violence.
Project Safe, Sexual Assault Center of Northeast Georgia, Inc., University of Georgia Health Center and the UGA Women’s Studies Student Organization will sponsor Take Back the Night in Athens on Thursday, April 21. This year’s theme is “Honoring Over Two Decades of Sexual Violence Awareness and Prevention.”
Campus and community members who want to take a stand against sexual violence are encouraged to participate in this event. Activities will begin at 10 a.m. in the Tate Student Center Plaza and will include speakers, music and discussion. A march through downtown Athens will begin at 8 p.m. and will be followed by a speak-out. The event will conclude at 9 p.m. with a candlelight vigil to be held at the Arch.
Sexual violence is any unwanted or nonconsensual sexual act and ranges from nonverbal to verbal to physical force. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 90 percent of victims know their attackers. One woman in six will experience attempted or completed rape during her lifetime. One man in 33 will experience attempted or completed rape during his lifetime. Fewer than half of all rapes and sexual assaults are reported to the police.
Everyone is welcome to participate in Take Back the Night to reclaim public space and assert the right to live without fear and violence.