Hundreds gathered in the Baker Ballroom for the event in support of sexual and domestic violence survivors

Take Back the Night Takes a Stand Against Sexual Violence

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ATHENS, Ohio – Many sexual and domestic violence survivors would agree that a person can’t understand how a sexual assault feels until it happens to them. For those who haven’t experienced this type of trauma, there are many ways to support victims of violence. The most efficient way of helping? Just be there for them, and that is what Ohio University’s Take Back the Night was all about.

“I am all for supporting those survivors, and giving them the space that they feel confident to do whatever they want to do. I think it’s really important to be here as an ally,” Rebekah Jasper said.

Jasper is spending her senior year of college as an intern at the Survivor Advocacy Outreach Program in Athens and said that supporting survivors is easy. She said it mostly just includes showing up to events like Take Back the Night and reminding survivors they are not alone.

Take Back the Night was an event where survivors of sexual and domestic violence were courageous enough to share their personal stories in the hopes of helping someone else who is going through the same thing.

Hundreds of people showed up to the Baker University Ballroom on Thursday, April 4th to offer an understanding ear.

Most were Greek life community members who said that sexual assault hits close to home for them.

“Being part of the Panhellenic community, it’s definitely something really important to be able to stand up for those that have faced sexual assault and show them that we support them,” said Maddy Doyle, Panhellenic Affairs Vice President for Gamma Phi Beta.

Multiple tables were set up to show how many clubs there are in support of sexual assault
A slideshow was up throughout the event giving information of sexual and domestic violence
Volunteers hand out Take Back the Night t-shirts

Many who attended Take Back the Night said the most poignant part of the evening was hearing the speakers tell their stories.

“It’s just really, really powerful and really awesome to be able to hear them and hear what they’ve been through, or what others have been through, and know that even though they’ve been through all of this stuff, they’re still going,” Jasper said.

She said hearing the speakers made her hopeful that she can overcome anything. These survivors have been through major trauma, the type that changes you as a person, and Jasper said she was comforted by the hope and perseverance of these survivors.

“I think for me the biggest thing that is most impactful is seeing all of these people come together and take a stance on sexual assault and be there to support all these people,” Doyle said.

Doyle said that feeling of unity is what made her grateful she came to give her support. She said even though she hasn’t experienced this type of violence, she liked that there were so many people at this event who were allies. She said it made her feel closer to her community because she knows that if she ever went through anything like this, there is a huge group of people who will be there for her.

For support or information about sexual violence, call the sexual assault hotline at 800-656-HOPE. The professions there will be able to help.