Tonight CSUN staff, students and surrounding community are planning to ‘Take Back the Night’ (TBTN) An event dedicated to speaking out against the violence and abuse affecting men, women and children.
Domestic violence affects everyone, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence which found one in every four women will experience some kind of domestic violence in her lifetime. According to Batteredmen.com 835,000 men are domestically abused each year.
The first TBTN is believed to have taken place in 1877 when women protested fear and violence on the streets of London, according to the organizations’ official Web site. Since then it has grown to a nationwide event advocating awareness and change for years to come. With the first march taking place in San Francisco.
It’s about paying attention to the violence and the number of women that are raped and sexually molested and trying to do something about it, said Dr. Sheena Malhorta, CSUN associate professor of Gender and Women’s Studies.
CSUN’s 6th annual TBTN will consist of two parts. The first will be a resource fair filled with clubs and outside organizations taking place at Plaza del Sol at 5 to 7 p.m. at the University Student Union (USU). Activities will include poster making, which is what women did at the first TBTN event, a tradition that has continued through the years.
‘It’s a really worthy cause.’ It’s important that more students learn about it so they can get involved next year,’ said Cassaundra Rodriguez, president of Women’s Studies Student Association (WSSA).
Live entertainment featuring the music of the Pristines and All or Nothing HC will also be performing during the event. American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreters will be provided for the entire rally.
Speakers will include representatives from the Native American Women Association (NAWA), Valley Trauma Center and Project DATE a CSUN program specializing in dating and abuse prevention, among others.’ After a few keynote speakers there will be a candlelight vigil where participants will embark in a march from Plaza del Sol to the newly renovated Women’s Resource Center (WRC). It’s located at 18356 Halsted St., next to the Asian American Center said Stephanie Montes, CSUN Women’s Resource and Research Center assistant director.
The second part of the event will be at the WRC where an open mic session will take place. Participants will have an opportunity to protest the violence and help raise awareness.
The Gender and Women’s Studies Department, the WRC, WSSA and Associated Students are sponsoring the event.
‘It provides a space for survivors of violence and abuse to vent and eventually heal on the path to recovery, ‘ said Rodriguez. ‘Its more than survivors it’s about creating awareness.
TBTN is about making the night and public space safe for women to walk around without fear of violence, said Dr. Malhorta.
She has a degree in media and communications and chose to focus on gender and race as well because she believes in, ‘social justice for all people…for men and women of all colors and social classes.’
Students are encouraged to attend and support to become one voice and declare, ‘the violence must stop,’ as stated on CSUN’s TBTN Web site.
CSUN’s TBTN will end at the WRC where both men and women who survived abuse, rape and violence will share stories.
‘It is one of the most empowering and moving things to watch,’ said Dr. Malhorta. ‘Because survivors who have kept silent for so long, are speaking about it.’