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Take Back the Night

How We Started A Conversation About Rape

Alexandra Kudatzky | Posted 05.01.2015 | Impact
Alexandra Kudatzky

High school is a critical venue for discussing sexual violence and the increasing prevalence of campus rape in the media.

My Daughter's Story and Why Parents Need To Talk to Their Children About Sexual Assault

Andrea Cooper | Posted 05.01.2015 | Women
Andrea Cooper

If you have not already done so, now is the time to talk to your son, your daughter, or your best friend and tell them if they are sexually assaulted that you will be there to support them.

10 Points of Light are Burning Tonight

Katie Koestner | Posted 06.30.2015 | Impact
Katie Koestner

People from all over are headed out to the city streets, the country roads, and the night sky with our vigil candles to burn away the pa

We Need to Stand Together to End Rape and Support All Who Have Been Victimized

Katie Koestner | Posted 06.24.2015 | Women
Katie Koestner

He doesn't say he was raped, but he doesn't have to. I know what he is trying to say. Like most victims, the full sentence, "I was raped," is one we resist speaking at all. The label is too grotesque to add to our conscience.

As Staff Members In Higher Education, It's Our Job To Help Students Heal

Maureen M. McGuinness, Ed.D. | Posted 06.21.2015 | College
Maureen M. McGuinness, Ed.D.

In our role as staff members in higher education, it is our job to educate. It is our job to assist and help our students grow. It is also becoming our job to help our students heal. Our impact is much greater than retention rates. Our impact is helping survivors for the rest of their lives.

How Law Enforcement Should Treat Victims of Sexual Assault

Katie Koestner | Posted 06.17.2015 | Women
Katie Koestner

I am not writing to critique law enforcement. I am writing to explain how it is to tell anyone the story of your rape, assault, or abuse. This is how hard it is to describe what happened, because your brain has barely let the facts into your head.

Enough With The Victim Blaming

Vickie R. Sides | Posted 06.15.2015 | College
Vickie R. Sides

One of the most difficult things about working with survivors of violence is helping them cope with the internal and external blame. Yes. Victims blame themselves as much as we blame them.

How Good Girls Get Educated in Bad Girl Things

Kelly Vrooman | Posted 06.09.2015 | Women
Kelly Vrooman

Good girls who question become bad girls. Heck, good girls who don't question are always on the edge of being considered bad girls anyway. The goodness of a girl is devastatingly fragile. So, instead, my education took place in secret.

Healing From Any Form of Sexual Violence is a Long Journey

Katie Koestner | Posted 06.06.2015 | Impact
Katie Koestner

Take Back The Night invites you to speak, to add your story to the heap. We invite those who stand against sexual violence to Walk the Walk with us, to do more than just talk the talk.

From Gossip to Bragging, How Girls and Boys Are Talking About Sex Is a Problem

Katie Koestner | Posted 06.30.2014 | Women
Katie Koestner

f boys and men speak of the act of doing, conquest, teamwork, and if girls retell the story without commentary and proudly support the boys' team, how can we delude ourselves into movement toward sexual equality and respect?

We Have the Right to Bodily Integrity No Matter What We're Drinking

Emily Renda | Posted 06.29.2014 | College
Emily Renda

I was a first year student out at a party drinking in the Fall, and a guy who insisted on walking me home invited me to hang out in his room. It's not unusual -- practically commonplace.

The Next Generation of Activists Is Keeping Us Honest

Claire N. Kaplan | Posted 06.28.2014 | College
Claire N. Kaplan

From where I sit, today's youth are far more engaged, far more concerned and truthfully, more prepared to deal with roadblocks than my generation, and they expect to carry on that activism after graduation.

Why I Continue to Take Back the Night

Paulina Jones-Torregrosa | Posted 06.23.2014 | College
Paulina Jones-Torregrosa

This will be my third year attending Take Back the Night. I go because as a woman, I am a target of gender-based violence. I go because I am outraged that these senseless acts continue to happen in my campus community.

Those Who Avidly Defend Manhood Are Often Its Biggest Traitors

Gordon Braxton | Posted 06.23.2014 | College
Gordon Braxton

To let many men tell it, they are experts at deciphering the intentions of women and wooing them towards a mutual attraction, but this confidence quickly disperses when it comes to discussion of sexual assault.

Why Every College Student Should Know the Definition of Consent

Leah Bakely | Posted 06.22.2014 | College
Leah Bakely

I would wager that many college students, including those on my campus, still don't understand the importance of communicating and, worse, still don't know the definitions of sexual assault or consent.

My Inbox Is Full of High School and Middle School Students' Stories of Sexual Assault

Katie Koestner | Posted 06.22.2014 | College
Katie Koestner

The email reads, "This fall he's been in one of my classes, and he won't stop touching me. I can't get him to stop."

The Real Reason Many Young Men Say They Won't Report Being Raped

Katie Koestner | Posted 12.29.2014 | College
Katie Koestner

You are perceived as weak -- in mind and body -- if you say that you've been raped. I assume he is providing an observation of societal expectation. He is not. He is telling us why he never told anyone.

Taking Back the Night in Chicago

Nancy A. Matthews | Posted 06.17.2014 | Chicago
Nancy A. Matthews

The violence that doesn't get much attention in Chicago is the routine and relentless violence against women and girls that occurs every day -- dating violence, date rape, intimate partner violence, stalking.

The Mixed Message I Have to Send My Daughter About Her Body

Kiranjit K. Longaker | Posted 06.16.2014 | Parents
Kiranjit K. Longaker

I nurture in my daughter a terrible mixed message: one, that she has full sexual self-ownership, and two, that the specter of violence ultimately robs her of sexual self-ownership.

A College Vice President Confesses to Rape, Promises to Do Better

Katie Koestner | Posted 06.15.2014 | College
Katie Koestner

I say nothing. I am in the passenger seat of the car of a rapist. I am wearing my seatbelt. I am firmly affixed to his car. I wonder if he moved 3,000 miles away from the divorce or his victim?

Speaking Out on Men's Role in Preventing Sexual Assault

Kevin Powell | Posted 06.14.2014 | College
Kevin Powell

I asked males in the audience how they defined manhood. A lot of the usual terms came up like "provider" and "strong" and "responsibility." I responded those words could also apply to my single mother and most women I know.

How It Feels When White Women Cross to the Other Side of the Street

Gordon Braxton | Posted 06.14.2014 | Black Voices
Gordon Braxton

I can relate to the experience of white women speeding up, altering their paths, clutching their belongings or casting wary glances in my presence.

The Gentleman Who Raped Me

Katie Koestner | Posted 06.11.2014 | College
Katie Koestner

I was born down South, and had heard the word "gentleman" a thousand times, but never as a descriptor for a rapist. I marveled as she spoke. It was her composure and perfect makeup that wowed me.

These Are the Places on Campus Where Sexual Violence Occurs

Katie Koestner | Posted 06.09.2014 | College
Katie Koestner

We stopped outside the fraternity house. One girl ran over to the front walk and crouched down about 20 feet from the front door.

Women Should Not Have to Live in Constant Fear of Assault

Maryna Bencharska | Posted 06.08.2014 | College
Maryna Bencharska

One in three women globally has suffered intimate partner violence including physical and sexual attacks. Nine out of 10 rape victims in the world are female.