Niagara University invites the community to “Take Back the Night” on Thursday, April 2, through participation in an annual event that aims to end sexual, relationship, and gender-based violence in all forms.
Co-sponsored by the YWCA of the Niagara Frontier, the event begins in the Gallagher Center gym at 6 p.m. with resource tables, poster-making, a brief program, and a student-organized march across campus. Martha LaCorte, victim’s advocate with the New York State Police, is the guest speaker for the event, which concludes with a candlelight vigil.
Admission is $1 for students and $5 for the general public, with all proceeds being donated to the YWCA of the Niagara Frontier.
This is the fifth year NU has hosted the event, which drew hundreds of students and community members in previous years.
“ ‘Take Back the Night’ aims to increase awareness, education, and provide resources on sexual violence,” said Dr. Jennifer E. Beebe, associate professor of counseling, who is co-organizing the event at NU with Dr. Dana L. Radatz, assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice. “Additionally, we hope to empower survivors by shattering the silence and giving them a platform to share their stories. This annual event is a powerful reminder that collaboration, hope and dialogue can begin to help shift the culture of sexual violence. Niagara University has demonstrated a strong commitment to cultivating a community that is safe and does not tolerate sexual violence.”
Radatz added, “This year marks the fifth anniversary of the event at Niagara, and our theme, ‘Together, we soar,’ speaks to our reflection of the successes we’ve had in raising awareness around relationship and sexual violence in those five years, while also recognizing that when we work together, we are capable of great things. And while this theme gives us a moment to pause and reflect, it simultaneously encourages and emphasizes the importance of continuing to move onward and upward in our advocacy and prevention work in the years to come.”
The YWCA of the Niagara Frontier is the certified provider of confidential crisis counseling for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Niagara County. Among the organization’s numerous crisis service programs is a 24-hour crisis hotline staffed by trained professionals who provide an immediate response to assault victims.
“Take Back the Night” is a nonprofit charity with the mission of ending sexual violence in all forms, including sexual assault, sexual abuse, dating violence and domestic violence. “TBTN” empowers survivors in the healing process and has hosted events throughout the world for over 50 years.
The event at Niagara University has brought together students and faculty members from several academic programs, especially counseling and criminology and criminal justice.
For more information on the “Take Back the Night” event at Niagara, call 716-286-8182 or email [email protected].