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Victims Of Sexual Abuse Take Back The Night

Heights Editor

Published: Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01

victim 3/29

Alexandra Gaynor / For The heights

Under a cloudy sky on Wednesday, Mar. 28 at 6 p.m., many members of the Boston College community gathered in O’Neill Plaza to discuss the issue of violence against women at the annual Take Back the Night ceremony. The event was well attended by both male and female spectators. The evening’s message directly aligned itself with the Jesuit ideals that BC is founded on—the event was a strong expression of students’ ability to be “men and women for others.”

The night was led by members of the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) in collaboration with many other groups on campus. The Dynamics opened the evening with a brief performance as the crowds gathered.

The event centered around three individual stories, as three women took the stage to share their personal stories and to testify to the fact that violence against women, sexual or otherwise, is not an issue that we are safe from, even at BC. The audience sat in silent respect and lent a listening ear to those courageous enough to share their pain in the echoing forum of O’Neill Plaza.

Men and women both had their voices heard in regards to the issues at hand. Alberto Godenzi, dean of the graduate school of social work, gave the faculty address. He focused largely on the magnitude and prevalence of violence against women, and how little public outcry there is surrounding such a universal issue.

“The fact that we have normalized and accepted violence against women as an inevitable part of life is puzzling and inconceivable,” Godenzi said.

He spoke about how this is an issue that effects nearly all of us in one way or another. Additionally, three members of the men’s rugby team stood in solidarity with victims.

“For too long, we let women fight this fight alone,” they said.

They were followed by a member of the BCPD, who led all the males in attendance in a pledge against sexual assault and violence towards women.

The event attracted a large and varied audience, with each person present taking the time to sit outside on the chilly evening for different reasons.

“Take Back the Night is a very powerful and inspirational event at BC,” said Josh Crespo, A&S ’14. “I feel that all people have the responsibility to end the horrible experiences that these women have faced. I wanted to hear the stories of the brave women, and learn what I can do to help prevent sexual assaults.”

The night concluded as volunteers passed out glow sticks, challenging everyone in attendance to take back the night, and light up the darkness in hopes of making our world a safer place. The night promoted not only awareness, but also action in regards to sharing stories, celebrating survivors, and working together to end violence against women.

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