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Students to “Take Back the Night” at Lehigh

Lehigh University's Women’s Center will hold a “Take Back the Night” march to encourage members of the Lehigh community to join in ending violence against all people. The event will honor those who have survived sexual, domestic and other forms of abuse.

The march—which has drawn up to 300 participants in the past—will begin at Lookout Point at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 22, and end at Lower Centennial on Lehigh's South Mountain campus. At the conclusion of the march, participants will share their personal stories.

“The ‘Take Back the Night’ march is an active opportunity for members of the Lehigh community to come together and share ideas and goals about their common interest of creating a safe campus environment for everyone here,” says Rita Jones, director of Lehigh’s Women’s Center.

The roots of the “Take Back the Night” movement can be traced back to 1877, when women terrorized by violence on the streets of London protested the fact that they were forced to live in fear, according to the organization’s website.

Others believe that the first rally occurred in 1976, when women attending the International Tribunal on Crimes Against Women in Belgium lit candles and marched through the streets of the city to denounce violence against women.

The first protest within the United States came in 1978, when those adversely affected by the pornography industry shared their stories in a rally in San Francisco. The public testimonies have become a significant part of many “Take Back the Night” rallies as victims of abuse affirm their transition from victim to survivor.

“Although there are many common components, such as candlelight vigils and marches and public testimonies, they all share the unifying theme of assertion of a human’s right to live free of violence and to reclaim that right,” says Michelle Issadore, assistant director of the Women’s Center and organizer of the Lehigh event.

“Take Back the Night is an important opportunity for the Lehigh community to reclaim safe space for women and support those who have survived violence.”

For more information about the march, please call the Lehigh University Women's Center at (610) 758-6484.

For more information about the national Take Back the Night movement, visit the Web Site.


--Linda Harbrecht


Posted on Monday, April 21, 2008

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