LSU, community to unite for Annual Take Back the Night Candlelight Vigil and March

LSU, community to unite for Annual Take Back the Night Candlelight Vigil and March
Photo provided by LSU Media Relations
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POSTED: Sunday, October 6, 2013 - 1:00pm

UPDATED: Sunday, October 6, 2013 - 5:47pm

 In an effort to bring the community together and raise awareness about domestic and sexual violence, the LSU Student Health, LSU Women’s Center, LSU Campus Life, IRIS and STAR are collaborating with more than 30 other campus and community organizations to host the Take Back the Night candlelight vigil and march on Sunday, Oct. 13, at Memorial Tower.

The vigil starts at 6 p.m. and is followed by a one-mile march around campus at 7 p.m. There will be live music, information tables and refreshments before the vigil begins.

In its 27th year, the annual Take Back the Night event highlights the impact of domestic and sexual violence in our community. It is the sixth year that the event will be held at LSU at the Memorial Tower.

“Take Back the Night is an important event because it not only honors and remembers those whose lives have been impact by domestic and/or sexual violence,” said Summer Steib, director of the LSU Women’s Center, “but it serves as a call to action for our community to raise awareness about these forms of violence. As we see the national conversation around sexual and domestic violence shift from intervention to prevention, events like Take Back the Night become meaningful tools to increase awareness and prevention efforts.”

Domestic and sexual violence are major public health problems in the United States, and the Greater Baton Rouge community is no exception. National statistics indicate that 1-in-4 women will experience intimate partner violence, and 1-in-5 women will experience a completed or attempted rape in her lifetime. While these numbers stand alone as reason to take action, what these numbers don’t reflect are the countless children and families that are affected by violence against women.

“Sexual assault and intimate partner violence are more common than we like to acknowledge. The numbers are startling, yet survivors often suffer in silence because to come forward would risk facing the shame and stigma of abuse,” said Racheal Hebert, executive director of the Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response Center. “Take Back the Night is an event that brings people together to show support for the survivors in our community and reminds us that we all share the responsibility for preventing and appropriately intervening all forms of gender-based violence.”

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