In response to the death of Susan Alexander Spleeth, a woman who was stabbed to death while walking home one night in Philadelphia during 1975, many college campuses around the country began to organize the yearly event, “Take Back the Night.”
The event is an annual march to protest violence in our community, specifically sexual violence, and this year Western is hosting the event at7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 1 in the Performing Arts Center Concert Hall.
“We need to stop telling people how to not get assaulted, and start telling people how to not rape people,” stated Krisy Hathaway, the AS Women’s Center Coordinator.
The event will start with a rally titled, “Why I Fight,” which will consist of statements and testimonials written by students, followed by a statement from AS President Ethan Glemaker, and a performance from headliner Elissa Ball.
Following the rally will be a march consisting of attendees of marginalized genders through campus and downtown to take back the night. During this time, men and those who choose not to march will hold a candlelight vigil to show solidarity with the marchers.
“We live in a rape culture,” Hathaway states. “A culture in which people, specifically women and trans* folk, do not feel safe walking outside, specifically at night, due to fear of being assaulted. This is not acceptable.”
Due to the fact that there have been a recentlyhigh amount of violent incidences, students should be exceptionally aware of their surroundings. This event will provide a safe space for students and faculty alike to feel empowered and supported. Hathaway explained that the first time she attended this event she couldn’t believe how empowered she felt afterwards and encourages others to take advantage of the opportunity to march through the streets alongside her. This event is free and open to all students and members of the community, and everyone is encouraged to attend.
Hathaway closed with this statement: “Sexual assault is not a women’s issue, it’s a human rights issue. We are all human and should feel strongly about preventing violence.”