Public Invited to Take a Stand Against Sexual Assault

Public Invited to Take a Stand Against Sexual Assault

(Marion) Marion Technical College and The Ohio State University at Marion invite the community to take a stand against sexual violence. The Take Back the Night event will be held on the Marion campus at the Alber Student Center on Wednesday, April 17 from 7 – 9 p.m. This positive, empowering event celebrates survivors and showcases community groups combating sexual violence. Members of the public are invited to come and enjoy upbeat music, free food, impactful speeches, and culminates in a walk around campus (inside the gym in case of rain.)

Picture of Leslie Beary and Shannon Niedzwicki at the Take Back the Night event in 2018
Leslie Beary & Shannon Niedzwicki at 2018 Take Back the Night event

“While sexual assault occurs to people of all ages and genders, college-age women are at an increased risk of sexual violence,” said Leslie Beary, MSW, LISW-S, Manager of Mental Health & Wellness at Ohio State Marion.

“We want to fight back by educating people on how to intervene, supporting survivors, and educating about the resources on our campus and in our community,” she said.

Groups attending to share information and support include: the Marion Victim Assistance Program, Turning Point, the Marion Police Department, the Marion County Sheriff Department, and OhioHealth Sexual Assault Nurses. Speakers include:

Members of Marion Victim Assistance Program support Take Back the Night 2017
Members of Marion Victim Assistance Program support Take Back the Night 2017

The Marion campus invites everyone to come and speak out against all forms of sexual assault, including dating and domestic violence.

“Bystander intervention is proven to help. Whether you create a distraction, ask someone if they feel unsafe, or offer to help them get safely to a new location, you can help prevent sexual assault,” said Shannon Niedzwicki, Director of Career Services & Student Life at MTC.

“It’s on us to listen and respond when something doesn’t feel right,” Niedzwicki added.

Picture of people marching at Take Back the Night 2018

One out of every six American women are the victims of rape or attempted rape, according to RAINN. One in 33 men is as well. According to studies by David Finkelhor, one in five girls and one in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse. According to RAINN, 93% of children know the perpetrator, often as family members, making a safety focus on “Stranger Danger” inadequate. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, nearly 80% of female victims of rape or sexual assault knew their attacker. While the rates of forcible rates have been declining since the 1990s, Ohio’s rate still is higher than the national average, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports data. Many victims do not report their crimes to law enforcement.

B.J. Gruber from Marion Police (right) and Sgt. Mark Beaschler, Public Safety Supervisor for the Marion Campus, support Take Back the Night 2017.

Since the early 1970s, Take Back the Night events have been held in the US to bring together those committed to taking a public stand to support and help sexual assault survivors and make our communities safer. Follow and share the event on Facebook.

The National Sexual Assault Hotline is 1-800-656-Hope. More info is available at rainn.org.