Last semester I wrote a piece about the sexual assault problem at Ohio University. Notably, there were 47 reported cases of sexual assault or rape filed by OUPD in 2016 alone, and the numbers just keep rising. If you’re a female-identifying student at Ohio University who sees those numbers and is scared, Take Back The Night is for you.
Take Back The Night is an international event held by universities and other organization to fight to end sexual violence. It is designed to be a safe space for survivors and supporters and is both educational and incredibly moving. This year, the events included several keynote speakers, a resource fair, a viewing for quilt pieces from The Monument Quilt, and a march down Court St. It’s an event full of life and support, and is one of the rare times almost every organization on campus comes together in support of an issue.
Things like Take Back the Night may not directly affect the rates of sexual assault on campus, nor do they necessarily change the poor way the school seems to handle assault cases at times, but as long as we speak up and stand with the victims, we can’t be forgotten.
If you missed the events this year, know that there are always things you can do to raise awareness and be in support of those affected by sexual violence. Bigger things, like working with those who are trying to improve the lack of streetlights across campus, or even smaller things, like making sure to be a sober friend every once and a while to walk people home or in general take care of people when they are out, can make all the difference.
No, it isn’t fair that I have to ask a friend to walk me home when I come back from the library late, or that I don’t have as much freedom to walk around at night, but I can’t change anything without working to change it. Be aware, be supportive, and be active in being a positive change on campus.