For immediate release: April 10, 2007
BLOOMSBURG — Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania will host Take Back the Night, an annual event, on Thursday, April 19, at 8 p.m. in the Kehr Union Multipurpose Rooms A and B. Take Back the Night, which is held during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, is an event dedicated to raising awareness and protesting sexual assault and violence against women.
According to Deb Barnes of the Women’s Resource Center, approximately 200 people attend the event each year. “As advanced as our society is, we still haven’t solved the problem of violence against women and children. We have examples of that in our own community,” she said. The event has been held at BU for more than 20 years.
The program will feature a panel of experts who will cover different aspects of sexual assault. Speakers include Mark Bauman, assistant director of Student Standards; Brooke Croyle, of The Women’s Center Inc., Bloomsburg; Belinda DeLeon, BU Police officer; Fran Kendris, of the BU Counseling Center; and Dr. Catherine O’Neil, of the Student Health Center. After the presentation, those attending will take part in an on-campus candlelight vigil and return to Carver Hall for closing remarks.
Due to the nature of the event, counselors will be available throughout the program to help audience members deal with emotional issues. The counselors will stay in the Multipurpose Room during the march for immediate counseling or to set up future appointments.
Also planned is the Clothesline Project, a display of T-shirts with messages denouncing sexual assault. The shirts will be displayed in the lobby of the Warren Student Services Center from April 16 to 19. T-shirts can be designed until April 13 in the Women’s Resource Center, Schuylkill Hall. Shirts, markers and paint will be provided.
Take Back the Night is an international event which originated more than three decades ago in Europe. The program made its way to the United States in 1978 during a protest in San Francisco. Today, common components of Take Back the Night rallies include candlelight vigils, empowerment marches, and survivor testimonials.
The Clothesline Project was started in Hyannis, Mass., in the fall of 1990 to call attention to violence against women. It is a vehicle for those who have been affected by violence to express their emotions by designing a shirt. The project focuses on providing healing for survivors of violence, educating the public and providing solutions through individual action and has been adopted by communities nationwide.
Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Professional Studies, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.