Tonight’s ‘Take Back the Night’ march to raise national awareness of ending sexual violence

Christina Stavale

Students will march through campus and Kent tonight to raise awareness about sexual violence.

The Women’s Liberation Collective is sponsoring “Take Back the Night,” a march that aims to say students should feel safe walking around campus at night, said Katie Troha, a member of the steering board of the group.

The march will begin at 8:30 p.m. at the corner of Lincoln and Main, across the street from Starbucks. It will end at Risman Plaza. Anyone may join in the march.

“Take Back the Night” is a nation-wide initiative, with marches and events scheduled throughout the year. According to its Web site, the first rally happened in London in 1877, when women protested their fear while walking the streets at night.

Troha said tonight’s march will also function as a way to support people who choose not to report sexual assault, something that may hit home for college students.

“Especially on college campuses, there’s a problem with people being sexually assaulted,” she said.

Beth Vild, also a member of the WLC steering board, said the march will feature speakers at the beginning, middle and end of the march. Speech topics will include rape in the military and issues concerning rape and harassment for college women.

Vild said the march will discourage violence and fighting of any kind and that the group will try to keep people’s voices united together.

“From every woman I have talked to at Kent State, they have been or they know someone who has been sexually assaulted,” Vild said. “There’s no simple solution and it needs to be addressed.”

After the march, Vild said there will be a speak-out in Room 313 of the Student Center to serve as group counseling for those affected by sexual violence.

Contact minority affairs reporter Christina Stavale at [email protected].