Project Woman, in partnership with No Woman Left Behind, recognized October as Domestic Violence Awareness month by holding Take Back the Night on Oct. 5. Wittenberg students joined Springfield community members to recognize how important this issue is.
Students gathered at Wally Witt to make the march downtown and gather alongside members of the Springfield community to participate in a candlelight vigil. Yielding signs of proclamations for women’s rights, students experienced a few honks from those driving by as well as a cat call from a patron at Station, “Can I have your consent?”
Once downtown, the evening began with a breathtaking performance from Just Eve. Their performance was both inspirational and encouraging for survivors who were present. They performed three songs and, as always, did not fail to impress all members of the audience.
Members of Project Woman were present and provided encouragement as well as background on their organization. A story of one particular survivor was shared with those who gathered. In sharing the story, encouragement was brought upon the audience. Often times it is key for victims of domestic violence to hear survivor stories. It helps them to gain courage and inspires others.
After another inspiring performance from a member of Project Woman, Wittenberg Students marched from City Hall back to Founders chanting and holding signs declaring their position on consent and women’s rights. Students could be heard chanting in the streets of Springfield that they wanted to “Take back the night.” Their chants were loud and full of passion.
Back on campus, students gathered in Founders for an open mic night. At this point, the tone of the evening turned more somber. Campus advocates were present and announced the evening. They reminded the students present of campus resources available to them as well as making it clear that the open mic night was a safe place without mandated reporters.
From there, students were given the opportunity to share their thoughts and experiences. Many brave students came forward to share their own encounters with dating violence and sexual assault. These stories served as a reminder that you never know the past that someone is hiding.
All in all, the night was an excellent way to acknowledge the presence of victims and their strength. Events like these, sponsored by the Womyn’s Center, are meant to encourage the acknowledgement of such violence in the world around us.