Take Back the Night April 13
By Barbara Melendez
TAMPA, Fla. (March 26, 2010) – The University of South Florida is hosting Take Back the Night – a candlelight vigil, silent march and speak-out against sexual violence. USF students, faculty, staff and community members who are committed to supporting survivors of sexual violence are joining forces and inviting the everyone to join them, April 13, at 6:30 p.m. at the Marshall Student Center Amphitheater – rain or shine.
There are compelling reasons for getting involved. It is reported that one in four women and one in 33 men are victims of sexual violence. Both men and women are victims of sexual violence and can demonstrate that they are willing to Take Back the Night by speaking out and revealing the truth about sexual violence.
“We are driven by the stories of sexual violence survivors and inspired by an international movement to take an active role in changing the landscape,” said Eileen Dabrowski, president of Necessary Improvements to Transform our Environment (NITE). “I hope to see everyone who cares about victims of these crimes get involved.”
Following a keynote address by USF Victim Advocacy Center Director Nanci Newton, attendees will walk together around the heart of campus while sexual violence statistics are read aloud. At the end of the march, survivors are invited to share their experiences regarding sexual violence. A candlelight vigil honoring all survivors of sexual violence follows the survivor speak-out. A reception will end the evening.
Men will also be asked to sign the REAL (Relationship Equality and Anti-violence League) Men’s Promise to End Sexual and Relationship Violence. This is a promise to use bystander intervention to prevent sexual violence, end the culture that supports and encourages rape, and to check the behaviors of themselves and of their friends.
This educational and empowering event is being hosted by NITE and co-sponsored by the USF Victim Advocacy Center. NITE is a student organization that advocates for campus safety and student health.
The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of only 25 public research universities nationwide with very high research activity that is designated as community engaged by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF was awarded $380.4 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2008/2009. The university offers 232 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The USF System has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 47,000 students on institutions/campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.