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By Niagara University
Niagara University is inviting the community to “Take Back the Night,” Thursday, March 30, through participation in an annual event that aims to end gender-based violence in all forms, including domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
This year’s featured speaker is Tayrin Tapia, founder of Dear Tayrin Inc., an organization established in 2012 to raise awareness of sexual abuse while empowering those victimized.
The event, now in its sixth year, begins in the university’s Gallagher Center gym at 4:30 p.m. with resource tables and poster making. A brief program and a student-organized march across campus follow. The event concludes with a candlelight vigil in the Castellani Art Museum.
“This year’s theme is ‘The Power of Our Voice,’ ” said Dr. Jennifer E. Beebe, associate professor of clinical mental health counseling, who is co-organizing the event with Dr. Dana L. Radatz, associate professor of criminology and criminal justice, and Niagara University’s Office of Violence Prevention & Education. “We come together to hold a space of honor and respect for survivors, their families, and allies, and look forward to sharing our vision of hope, unity, and a call to action with our community.”
Radatz added, “Since its inception at NU in 2016, ‘TBTN’ has served as a signature student advocacy event, one that also ties into the OVPE’s year-round initiatives to provide prevention education on gender-based violence.”
“The Catholic and Vincentian mission of Niagara University calls on us to be the light for those who need our help, and this is another way we are able to do that,” said the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., president of Niagara University. “We are committed to fostering an educational environment that focuses on the dignity of every human being who comes on our campus. I’m very grateful to the students, faculty, staff and administrators who have invested themselves in this cause to affect change.”
Several agencies and organizations from the local community partner and participate in the event. This year’s featured “TBTN” community partner is the YWCA of the Niagara Frontier, 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 an opportunity to come together as a community to listen, reflect, and advocate for survivors and their families. This event is a true reflection of the Vincentian values at Niagara University,” said Emily Pike, director of the OVPE.
The OVPE office is a one-stop shop for campuswide violence prevention programming, such as bystander intervention, advocacy, victim services, trainings and awareness events surrounding dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking (DVDVSAS).
“The OVPE signifies a commitment to prevention and education efforts on sexual and relationship violence on our college campus. We hope to lead the way in fostering a cultural shift that results in the next generation of advocates and leaders ensuring a safer campus and local community,” Pike said.
For more information on the “Take Back the Night” event at Niagara University, call 716-286-8105 or email [email protected].
About ‘Take Back the Night’
“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.