A blog to keep current on MPIRG'S fight for social and environmental justice.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

If You Have Plans This Friday Night, Cancel Them

Instead, you are going to Take Back the Night Twin Cities! Lucky you!

This Friday night (May 2), MPIRG and the Aurora Center for Advocacy and Education are hosting a Take Back the Night event on the Coffman Memorial Union plaza.

Starting at 6 p.m., there will be food, music, and awesome people to mingle with. The event will be hosted by Sol Raz and there will be a performance by local performance artist Sha Cage. Three slam poets will also perform pieces.

Then the main event: there will be a march down around campus and down University Ave near Greek Row, followed by a candlelight vigil and an open mic for survivors of sexual assault to share their experiences.

So what is Take Back the Night all about?

The Take Back the Night Foundation was formed in 1999 by Katie Koestner, but TBTN rallies and marches have been happening as early as the 70’s. The TBTN movement has even led to international efforts. TBTN events are hosted in cities throughout the country. 

TBTN is an event of healing, compassion, and taking a stand against sexual assault and intimate partner violence in all forms. This is a chance to educate students about consent and sexual violence, as well as celebrate healing and progress. Taking back the night means taking away the fear and shame so many sexual assault victims face.

According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), one out of six American women has been the victim of attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. Victims of sexual assault are six times more likely to suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol, 26 times more likely to abuse drugs, and four times more likely to contemplate suicide.

Rape and sexual assault should never happen. MPIRG has been partnering with the Aurora Center over the past year to create a consent culture on the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities campus. Efforts have included tabling to talk about consent with students and creating a video to be used as part of the freshmen orientation curriculum.

Sexual assault is any form of unwanted sexual touching, contact, or penetration, with or without threats or use of violence or force. Consent is mutual, freely given, and not permanent. Consent cannot be given if either party is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or if either party is asleep (I mean, duh!).

So we’ll see you at the U Friday night, ready to stand against sexual violence and in solidarity with victims and survivors. Don’t be late!

Check out the Facebook event!

Shonna Korsmoe
Communications Intern

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