Minot State University's Student Social Work Organization, in collaboration with the Domestic Violence Crisis Center, is inviting students, faculty, staff and the Minot community to Take Back the Night tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Old Main and the McFarland Lobby of Ann Nicole Nelson Hall on the campus of Minot State University.
Take Back the Night is a free event to raise awareness, empower survivors and unite with the community support against domestic violence and sexual assault. Activities will include guest speakers, displays, music, community resources, refreshments and a march and speak out.
As a way to take a stand against sexual violence and speak out against such crimes, Take Back the Night has become internationally known. The first documented event in the United States took place in Philadelphia in 1975. Residents rallied together after Susan Alexander Speeth, a young microbiologist, was stabbed to death by a stranger a block away from her home while walking the streets alone. The first international Take Back the Night event happened in Brussels,
Belgium, a year later.
An event like this is held in Minot to recognize survivors of domestic violence and those who have died as a result of domestic violence, said Kari Heringer, volunteer coordinator at the Domestic Violence Crisis Center. During Minot's Take Back the Night, Heringer said there will be people carrying red wooden silhouettes of women during the march on the campus. The silhouettes symbolize women who have died from domestic violence.
"October is Domestic Violence Awareness month," Heringer said, and Take Back the Night is an event done every year. "It's a chance to recognize victims and survivors of domestic violence," she added. The event is also open to all ages and family-friendly.
"Domestic violence is everybody's problem," Heringer said. "It affects us all. We all have a mother, sister, aunt or someone who has gone through it. It's a community problem and until we address it, it continue to be a problem."