Event raises awareness of domestic violence

Take Back the Night is an event with the mission of ending sexual, relationship and domestic violence in all forms. This will take place at the Memorial Amphitheatre Oct. 27 at 6 p.m.

Take Back the Night is a national event, said Coordinator for the Center for Women’s Studies, Emily Kelley.

“It’s observed at different times on different campuses,” she said. “We chose to do it in the fall at the same time we do the Clothesline Project.”

The Clothesline Project is where students can take a blank t-shirt and decorate it with an anti-domestic violence or anti-domestic abuse message, Kelley said. These shirts will be on display at the Memorial Amphitheatre.

Kelley said they will set up information tables for the Center for Women’s Studies, Student Counseling Services, Title IX, Office of Diversity and Institutional Equity, Shoals Crisis Center, One Place of the Shoals, Shoals Community Clinic, Thrive Alabama, Sustainability Studies and Safe Place, Inc.

“This is domestic violence awareness month, and this is our way to raise awareness about domestic violence,” she said. “These organizations are here to help with that goal.”

Senior Jacob Dawson said he has taken part in awareness events before.

“I think it is very important that we have activities that highlight problems like these and give people who have suffered the chance to work through their pain and emotions and give those who haven’t suffered a chance to learn,” he said. “It is important for those who have been a victim to know that they are not alone.”

In addition to the information fair, Kelley said they will also have a table set up where people can make t-shirts that night as well.

“We will be giving out flashlights because Take Back the Night is all about shining light in the darkness,” she said. “It’s symbolic. The night is symbolic of the darkness, and fear, and losing your power, so Take Back the Night is all about regaining your power.”

Kelley said there will also be entertainment.

“Madeleine Frankford will sing and play the guitar,” she said. “She is the Title IX grad assistant. She’s really great. She’s been doing this for us for a few years now.”

Kelley said the event will end with Carl Gebhardt delivering a non-denominational meditation and a candlelight moment of silence.

“We will be passing out candles for everyone who attends,” she said. “We will all have this moment of silence with the candles lit, and this is to remember the victims of domestic abuse and to honor the survivors of domestic abuse, and you would be amazed with how many are in our own community.”

People should come to this event to learn more about domestic violence and be in a place where no one will judge them, said sophomore Jessie Lenz.

“Domestic violence shouldn’t be tolerated,” she said. “There is no reason for women or men to be abused. No one should have to be a victim of domestic violence.”