On Friday April 26th our community will join in solidarity with survivors in our community for Ithaca’s 40th annual Take Back the Night event. This march, rally, and candlelight vigil calls for an end to sexual and intimate partner violence in our community and world. Take Back The Night supports survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, rape, and child sexual abuse, and their allies to speak out and be heard. We invite everyone who wants to see an end to all forms of intimate partner, gender-based, and sexual violence to join us.
Forty years strong in our community, Take Back the Night is an international event hosted by locales and groups across the globe. It traces its roots to the early 1970s when students on college campuses, and feminists and concerned citizens in major cities marched, rallied, and spoke out against issues surrounding violence against women. In the following decades, community-driven, annual events under the banner “Take Back the Night” began, often in partnership with local sexual assault groups and advocacy agencies, like ours.
Take Back the Night amplifies the message that you are not alone, we believe you, it is not your fault, you and your story matter, and there is space and support for you. With this in mind, our Take Back The Night organizing collective chose the 2019 theme “Light Out of Darkness.” This message speaks to the intention of Take Back the Night and welcomes a diversity of individual interpretations and understandings. To the organizers “Light Out of Darkness,” conveys hope, open conversations, empowerment, awareness, and an inviting tone for Take Back the Night 2019.
On that note, Take Back the Night is about creating a platform for all survivors and victims of the many forms domestic and sexual violence can take. We shine the light to acknowledge that people of all genders, races, nationalities, classes, abilities, sexual orientations, ages, religions, identities, and affiliations are impacted. This is a human issue that impacts everyone. That said, it is important and empowering to notice and address the differing ways some people and groups are disproportionately affected, including women (women of color, in particular), people with a disability, and members of the LGBTQ community.
While our community and society have shifted and changed in the past 40 years, with more public acknowledgement of and conversation about sexual harassment and violence, we have critical, transformational work still to do. Take Back the Night is a moment, a movement, and a platform for this work. It is about acknowledging the whole picture, a time for putting our attention on the darkness of the past, illuminating the light of the present, and setting our intentions on a future that is possible where everyone is safe from harm.
Join us on April 26th with marches leaving from Cornell University, Ithaca College, and TBD downtown locations to a rally and speak-out at the Bernie Milton Pavilion on the commons 7-9pm, and candlelight vigil. Together we’ll shine the Light Out of Darkness to demand and actively create the future we want to see. For more information visit http://ithacatbtn.weebly.com/
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