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: