What is Take Back the Night?

The Sexual Violence Task Force of Tampa Bay, in collaboration with rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters serving Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, has hosted Take Back the Night, an interactive event that creates awareness, empowers survivors and educates the community about sexual violence. Take Back the Night is the assembly of survivors of violence and supporters who are interested in building strength and awareness to eradicate the epidemic of sexual violence and domestic violence. The event included a Men’s pledge, candlelight vigil, silent march and a speak-out to invite survivors and supporters to shatter the silence of sexual and domestic violence.


Why Take Back the Night?

In 2014, the Crisis Center provided forensic exams and advocacy services to over 300 rape victims in Hillsborough County

In 2015, Suncoast Center, Inc. answered 251 rape crisis calls, provided 172 forensic exams, and helped 22 survivors receive relocation assistance. Last year, they provided crisis intervention, legal and personal advocacy, and information/referral services to 136 survivors. They also provided primary prevention, education and awareness activities to 3,382 individuals.

These number represents less than a third of all sexual assaults that occurred last year, which demonstrates the need for outreach and awareness events like Take Back the Night.

According to RAINN (the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network), a woman is raped in the United States every two minutes. Sexual violence rips through the community and causes destruction in more than just one life. During this time, not only is a survivor’s life forever changed by violence, but the effects touch the family and friends in his or her life with this violence negatively impacting the whole community.

Take Back the Night began for the U.S. in the 1970s to shed light on the ever-present threat of sexual violence that surrounds women, symbolized in the inability to walk alone at night without fear.  Sexual violence is a widespread issue affecting all populations regardless of gender, race, age or socioeconomic status, and the perpetrators are far more elusive than the masked man in the dark alley.                                

April is Sexual Violence Awareness Month, and the Sexual Violence Task Force of Tampa Bay is dedicated to the mobilization of the community proclaiming that this violence is unacceptable! We invite you to join us for Take Back the Night: Our Voice is Our Strength and help create an environment filled with hope, healing and freedom from violence.


What Happens at Take Back the Night?

Take Back the Night comprises of several smaller events throughout the evening, including a Men’s pledge, candlelight vigil, silent march and a speak-out to invite survivors and supporters to shatter the silence of sexual violence. Hover over the images below for more information on each of these key elements that make up an empowering Take Back the Night:

Clothesline Project

Resource Fair

the community resource fair features organizations, service providers, and agencies that serve survivors of sexual or domestic violence in the community. service providers or individuals are encouraged to register to reserve a table at the resource fair to conduct outreach and network within the community.

the community resource fair features organizations, service providers, and agencies that serve survivors of sexual or domestic violence in the community. service providers or individuals are encouraged to register to reserve a table at the resource fair to conduct outreach and network within the community.

The Clothesline Project is a visual display that bears witness to the violence against women and children. The Clothesline reveals the extent of violence against women and children with visual impact similar to the AIDS Quilt and the Vietnam Wall. The Clothesline Project gives women and children an opportunity to break the silence about violence by creating shirts that give voice to their personal experience. The shirts are then hung shoulder to shoulder on a clothesline for public viewing.

The Clothesline Project is a visual display that bears witness to the violence against women and children. The Clothesline reveals the extent of violence against women and children with visual impact similar to the AIDS Quilt and the Vietnam Wall.

The Clothesline Project gives women and children an opportunity to break the silence about violence by creating shirts that give voice to their personal experience. The shirts are then hung shoulder to shoulder on a clothesline for public viewing.

 

Ceremony

Music Fest
 

the music fest features artists and bands that play empowering music throughout the resource fair, and takes place before the ceremony. This year's lineup includes Eight Eyes, Sic Transit, thanecha anderson, purabomba and shinra co.

the music fest features artists and bands that play empowering music throughout the resource fair, and takes place before the ceremony. This year's lineup includes Eight Eyes, Sic Transit, thanecha anderson, purabomba and shinra co.

the take back the night ceremony takes place after the music fest. our guest speakers will come up on stage to raise awareness of sexual and domestic violence, stand in solidarity with the community, and conduct aspects of the ceremony including the men's pledge, and presentation of the charlie hounchell community advocate award. This year, we are proud to have lissette campos from wfts-tv abc action news, and drew garabo from 102.5 the bone as our masters of ceremony. Throughout the ceremony, survivors are honored on stage and have the opportunity to speak out and share their stories.

the take back the night ceremony takes place after the music fest. our guest speakers will come up on stage to raise awareness of sexual and domestic violence, stand in solidarity with the community, and conduct aspects of the ceremony including the men's pledge, and presentation of the charlie hounchell community advocate award.

This year, we are proud to have lissette campos from wfts-tv abc action news, and drew garabo from 102.5 the bone as our masters of ceremony.

Throughout the ceremony, survivors are honored on stage and have the opportunity to speak out and share their stories.

 

Men's Pledge

Charlie Hounchell Award

every year at take back the night, the sexual violence task force of tampa bay presents the charlie hounchell community advocate of the year award to an outstanding individual who has gone above and beyond to provide services to victims of sexual or domestic violence in the community. previous recipients of this prestigious award have included former chief of tampa police department jane castor, detective james mcbride of the clearwater aware task force against human trafficking, and nanci newton, director of usf center for victim advocacy & violence prevention.

every year at take back the night, the sexual violence task force of tampa bay presents the charlie hounchell community advocate of the year award to an outstanding individual who has gone above and beyond to provide services to victims of sexual or domestic violence in the community. previous recipients of this prestigious award have included former chief of tampa police department jane castor, detective james mcbride of the clearwater aware task force against human trafficking, and nanci newton, director of usf center for victim advocacy & violence prevention.

the men's pledge consists of prominent figures who represent the community. these individuals lead attendees of take back the night into a pledge to never commit or condone violence. the sexual violence task force of tampa bay has updated the pledge over the years to become more inclusive and to acknowledge that perpetrators of sexual or domestic violence are not always men,  and not all victims of sexual or domestic violence are women.

the men's pledge consists of prominent figures who represent the community. these individuals lead attendees of take back the night into a pledge to never commit or condone violence. the sexual violence task force of tampa bay has updated the pledge over the years to become more inclusive and to acknowledge that perpetrators of sexual or domestic violence are not always men,  and not all victims of sexual or domestic violence are women.

 

Candlelight Vigil

Empowerment March

the empowerment march consists of survivors of sexual or domestic violence and their allies. during the march, law enforcement personnel line the sides of the walkway and will stand at attention, with the lights on their patrol cars blinking -- as a sign of solidarity with survivors.

the empowerment march consists of survivors of sexual or domestic violence and their allies.

during the march, law enforcement personnel line the sides of the walkway and will stand at attention, with the lights on their patrol cars blinking -- as a sign of solidarity with survivors.

as night falls, following the empowerment march, attendees will light candles that will be held in honor of lives lost to sexual and domestic violence. the attendees will share a moment of silence before shattering the silence caused by sexual and domestic violence.

as night falls, following the empowerment march, attendees will light candles that will be held in honor of lives lost to sexual and domestic violence. the attendees will share a moment of silence before shattering the silence caused by sexual and domestic violence.

 

Survivor Speak-Out

The survivor speak-out portion is the last moment in take back the night. during this time, the stage is open to survivors of sexual or domestic violence to share their stories before attendees in a safe and supportive environment.

The survivor speak-out portion is the last moment in take back the night. during this time, the stage is open to survivors of sexual or domestic violence to share their stories before attendees in a safe and supportive environment.

 

Check out our Gallery to see photos from past Take Back the Night events!