Rape victims take back the night


“We’re gonna march in the rain and take back the night!” exclaimed program coordinator Amanda Roder. The group then went out and marched around Kent campus chanting slogans and waving banners. Photo by Sam Verbulecz.

Bre Vozar

“Rape strikes one in four; we won’t take it anymore” was chanted as many marched in the rain to “take back the night” and give voice to those who can’t.

As many supporters huddled under umbrellas, their voices could still be heard — echoing across the university. Take Back the Night gives Kent State, as well as community members, the opportunity to speak out against sexual assault.

Amanda Roder, program coordinator for the Women’s Center, successfully put together the event for the second year. She said she could feel the energy that people wanted to march despite the weather.

“I was really empowered by the rain, and we were still having people come into the center, and I could tell how people were connected by the speeches and the stories,” Roder said.

Nearly 70 people crammed into a conference room of the Kent State Women’s Center. Everyone sat shoulder to shoulder on the floor as they focused on the speakers. Take Back the Night was moved into the center because of the rain. Victims and supporters gathered as survivors shared their stories.

Amanda McClimans was one of the guest speakers that presented and shared her story.

“I don’t think people understand that rape is the only crime where the victim feels ashamed,” McClimans said. “I’ve carried it with me until this day and forever.”

McClimans’ story was accompanied by survival poems and song expressing feelings about sexual assault.

Many students attended with groups of friends to show their support.

Laura Clark, sophomore community health education major, encouraged about 15 of her Chi Omega sorority sisters to join her.

“Sexual assault affects so many people and no one knows,” Clark said. “I feel like a need to be here to support everyone.”

John Burton, junior Pan-African studies major, attended the event for the third year in a row and sang a Tracy Chapman song about sexual assault.

“I don’t have a survivor story, but I think it’s very important that these women find the strength to tell their stories,” Burton said. “I’ve been empowered.”

Contact Bre Vozar at [email protected].