The Take Back the Night Walk was an event hosted by Alpha Phi Omega in an attempt to help raise awareness about sexual assault and rape culture on college campuses.
There were around 50 people in attendance, and the event was very well-run. It was broken up into two main parts. The first part was an informative talk given by the speakers at the event, and the second part was the actual march.
A lot of the information provided at the event was very informative, and it really helped me to better understand the issue of sexual assault on college campuses and how much of an issue it is.
One statistic that the speakers brought up, was that out of every 1,000 alleged rapes, 994 perpetrators will walk free, 300 are reported to police, 57 lead to arrest, 11 cases are referred to prosecutors, 7 cases lead to felony conviction, and 6 rapists are incarcerated. This statistic comes from the RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) website.
Something else that the speakers talked about that caught my attention is that rapists don’t have any distinct identity, and that they can be anybody. This really struck home with me because even though I know all my friends well, sometimes there’s no telling what a person will do in a certain situation even if I’ve known said person for years.
I think this also ties in with something else the speakers brought up, which is how seven out of 10 sexual assaults are committed by someone who knows the victim. This statistic comes from the RAINN website as well, and even though it did surprise me, I can understand how the statistic is accurate.
Prior to learning this information, I had always believed that most sexual assaults were committed by strangers because that was less scary than the reality. The fact that the majority of the perpetrators of sexual assault know the victims is very disturbing to me and it’s rather hard to accept.
One more thing that stuck with me from the speech, was that many men act as bystanders when it comes to the issue of sexual assault.
Personally, this was something that made me really reevaluate my own thoughts on sexual assault and just how much I was doing to help in the fight against it. I realized that I had never really done a whole lot to help end the issue of sexual assault and I attribute this to the fact that the media has trained me to view sexual assault as more of a woman’s issue, when in reality it is a men’s issue as well.
Sexual assault is a major problem in our society today and if it is ever going to come to an end, it will have to be fully addressed by both men and women alike.
The actual march itself was quite an inspiring and entirely new experience for me, as I’ve never been part of a march before.
I was skeptical before the march because I had always seen marches being covered by the news when they take place, and they’ve always looked chaotic and out of control.
So, I was not entirely eager about being in one. However, I’m happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the demanding and yet peaceful atmosphere of the march. From the enthusiastic chanting to the empowering music, the mood that the march created was contagious.
Of course, there were police stationed at certain parts along the path of the march to ensure the smoothness of the event by keeping the flow of traffic under control. We marched from 33rd Street all the way to 40th Street, where we stopped inside the Free Library.
Once inside, myself along with all of the other people who took part in the march were given refreshments and the opportunity to write our names on a beautiful mural.
The event itself was an eye-opening experience for me, and I am still amazed by how much I enjoyed myself. My interest in getting involved in the fight to raise awareness about sexual assault has increased tremendously as a result of this experience.
I will most definitely be looking to take part in future events that are focused on raising awareness for sexual assault. This is a major issue and I hope that even bigger marches are organized in the future because I will certainly be in attendance.