UWG’s Health Education Center held the annual Take Back The Night event at the Oaks Coliseum on April 21. Take Back The Night is a university event focused on preventing sexual assault and violence and raising awareness. The event featured a number of speakers addressing sexual violence and its role not only on campuses but within society. Attendants participated in a march to Love Valley on campus, accompanied by chants regarding ending sexual assault and signs supporting the movement. After featuring student speakers, the event came to an end for the 2021 year.
“Take Back the Night is an event to raise awareness about sexual assault and violence,” said Jacqueline Stubenraugh, a Graduate Assistant for Health Education. “It is an opportunity for students to learn about the resources on campus and interact with professionals who are here to help.
“It is also a demonstration where students get to take back the night and have a say in what they want our campus culture to be,” continued Stubenraugh. “It is an event to say and show the student support for ending sexual violence on our campus.”
Several organizations on campus were invited to attend the event. Many of the invited organizations were resources for students to reach out to in relation to sexual assault. Other invited organizations were those involved in daily activities on the university’s campus.
“Health Services and Health Education hosted the event,” said Stubenraugh. “We invited The Counseling Center, SANE Nurses, Student Advocates, Title IX Office, UPD, Office of Community Standards, RX Committee, Athletics and Housing/Residence Life. We also had representatives from the Counseling Center, SANE Nurses, Advocates, Title IX, UPD and Office of Community Standards speak at the beginning of the event to explain how they are resources on campus.”
Although Health Education understands how sexual assault can be a difficult subject to discuss, especially around one’s peers and friends, these events are still needed. The event emphasizes the importance of being educated about available legal, mental and emotional resources for those who have experienced sexual violence.
“I know for some people it is uncomfortable to talk about or even triggering to hear about but as a community, we need to be sure we are aware of our resources available and how to take a preventable approach,” said Stubenraugh. “This is our campus and we have the opportunity to shape and change the culture. We need to support and look out for each other to ensure everyone feels safe and accepted on our campus. If you need help there are resources on campus who are dedicated to helping you. “Take Back The Night is important to me because as a survivor I want to do what I can to help anyone or prevent any violence,” continued Stubenraugh. “It is important for our community to be aware and talk about sexual assault prevention in hopes to lower the rates of violence.”