Sexual assault survivors to reclaim the streets during Take Back the Night

An international awareness event and demonstration will make its way to Cal State Long Beach Wednesday evening to Take Back the Night for sexual assault victims — literally.

Take Back the Night will be hosted by the Women’s and Gender Equity Center and Associated Students Inc. April 18. The beginning half of the event will feature tabling from the equity center and sign-making at 5 p.m. and a march from Brotman Hall to the Anatol Center at 6:30 p.m.

The annual Take Back the Night takes place every April. The event strives to open up the conversation regarding sexual assault, the victims and the survivors through providing an avenue for them to speak up against this violence. 

“It’s a way to make it safe on campus to talk about things like rape and street harassment…and take back the night,” said Pam Rayburn, coordinator for the Women’s and Gender Equity Center.

After the rally, social justice performance group interACT will host a display about bystander intervention in issues concerning sexual assault at 7 p.m.

The cause has been circulating around campuses since 1976, providing resources during the rise of women’s shelters. Take Back the Night is the first worldwide protest against sexual violence toward women.

“Those sorts of resources weren’t there for women back then. There were no shelters,” Rayburn said.

An open mic will be hosted after the performance, where students are encouraged to share their experiences with sexual violence and assault.

“I think [Take Back the Night] is important and it’s for a good cause,”  said Miriam Dashevsky, a freshman speech pathology major. “This is a big campus with a lot of people and not everyone has good intentions.”

Some students on campus have advocated for discussion on the topic of sexual violence, despite its potential controversy among campus members.

“[Sexual violence] should be talked about,” said Ilse Villegas, a freshman business major. “Some people can’t it accept it but it’s something that happens every day.”

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