Students ‘take back the night’ to symbolize intolerance to power-based violence

Students, faculty, staff and community members gathered for the annual Take Back the Night rally and march through the MU campus on April 27, 2017. Take Back the Night is an opportunity for students and the community to come together in solidarity against sexual assault and relationship violence. The event included a march, a candle light vigil and a speak out. The student organization, Stronger Together Against Relationship and Sexual Violence sponsored the event.

“The goal of the event is to join together to end sexual assault and power-based personal violence,” said Katryna Sardis, event coordinator.

The march across campus served as both a symbolic and literal taking back of the MU campus and intolerance to violence. The candle light vigil honors survivors and victims of power-based violence. At the end of the walk, a speak out allowed anyone to share their personal narratives and experiences involving power-based personal violence. Individuals also offered words of support to survivors, victims, and their supporters.

“This year, the event is one of the Ten Points of Light,” said Allie McInerney, event coordinator, “On the same night as our event college campuses across the country and internationally will be hosting their own versions of the event.”

Attendees were encouraged to show support by rallying, marching or cheering on from the sidewalk.

Take Back the Night T-shirts were available for purchase for $10, and are available in the Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Center, located in the MU Student Center.

All proceeds go towards True North and the L.E.A.D. Institute. True North provides a safe environment by educating, empowering and advocating for victims of domestic and sexual violence. True North effects social change by providing opportunities for individuals to realize and participate in the community’s responsibility to end domestic and sexual violence.

The L.E.A.D. Institute provides leadership through education, advocacy, crisis intervention services, counseling and other services for deaf, hard of hearing, deaf/blind, and late deafened victims, survivors, and their families.

STARS is a student organization that helps coordinate events such as Take Back the Night. They work towards increasing awareness about relationship and sexual violence on campus, in the community, and around the country. Additionally, STARS educates the campus about bystander prevention. More information on STARS can be found here.

Olivia Hoelting

About the Author Olivia Hoelting

From a young age I can remember sitting with my dad at our family’s kitchen table looking over various agriculture magazines and newspapers. At the time, I was too young to understand most of the stories, but my dad would spend hours reading aloud to me. When I learned to read the stories myself, my dad helped me sound out some of the difficult terms myself. Little did I know, those small moments would be the first glance into my future career that I am now working towards. I am currently a junior studying science and agricultural journalism at the University of Missouri, Columbia. I have an emphasis in agricultural marketing. I am also working towards a double minor in agricultural economics and political science.