Marion Technical College and The Ohio State University at Marion invite the community to take a stand against sexual violence. The Take Back the Night event will be held on the Marion campus at the Alber Student Center on Wednesday, April 17 from 7 – 9 p.m. This positive, empowering event celebrates survivors and showcases community groups combatting sexual violence. Members of the public are invited to come and enjoy upbeat music, free food, impactful speeches, and culminates in a walk around campus (inside the gym in case of rain.)
“While sexual assault occurs to people of all ages and genders, college-age women are at an increased risk of sexual violence,” said Leslie Beary, MSW, LISW-S, Manager of Mental Health &Wellness at Ohio State Marion.
“We want to fight back by educating people on how to intervene, supporting survivors, and educating about the resources on our campus and in our community,” she said.
Groups attending to share information and support include:the Marion Victim Assistance Program, Turning Point, the Marion Police Department, the Marion County Sheriff Department, and Ohio Health Sexual Assault Nurses. Speakers include:
·Det. Dana Jagger, new investigator for sexual assault for the Marion Police Dept.
·Betsy Abbott from Marion Victim Assistance Program
·Darlene Schoonard, Ohio Health Forensic Nurse Team Coordinator
The Marion campus invites everyone to come and speak out against all forms of sexual assault, including dating and domestic violence.
“Bystander intervention is proven to help. Whether you create a distraction, ask someone if they feel unsafe, or offer to help them get safely to a new location, you can help prevent sexual assault,” said Shannon Niedzwicki, Director of Career Services & Student Life at MTC.
“It’s on us to listen and respond when something doesn’t feel right,” Niedzwicki added.
One out of every six American women are the victims of rape or attempted rape. One in 33 men are as well. According studies by David Finkelhor, one in five girls and one in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse. According to RAINN, 93% of children know the perpetrator, often as family members, making a safety focus on “Stranger Danger” inadequate. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, nearly 80% of female victims or rape or sexual assault knew their attacker. While the rates of forcible rates have been declining since 1993, Ohio’s rate still is higher than the national average, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports data. Many victims do not report their crimes to law enforcement.
Since the early 1970s, Take Back the Night events have been held in the US to bring together those committed to taking a public stand to support and help sexual assault survivors and make our communities safer. For more on Take Back the Night, visit https://takebackthenight.org.