The University of Maine student newspaper since 1875
Sunday, April 19, 11:08 p.m.

Vigil to confront violence against women

The Student Women’s Association and Safe Campus Project are co-sponsoring this year’s Take Back the Night march on Thursday, Oct. 12. The event begins at 6 p.m. on the steps of Fogler Library.

Take Back The Night is a world-wide tradition that dedicates time for communities to promote non-violence and raise awareness about violence against women. The candlelight vigil and march provide an opportunity to stand up against rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, sexual harassment and other abuse that affects women, children and families.

The evening will open with a welcome and music by Renaissance, the University of Maine’s female vocal group. The keynote speaker will be Emily Cain, the Democratic representative from Orono. Other speakers will include Spruce Run, a local organization dedicated to serving people affected by domestic abuse, All Maine Women, Male Athletes Against Violence, Athletes for Sexual Responsibility and Carey Nason of the Safe Campus Project.

After the speakers there will be a chance for survivors of abuse to speak out. At 7 p.m there will be a candlelight vigil and march against violence. Refreshments will be served after the march in the North Pod of Memorial Union, which is also the rain location of the event.

Emily Lord, co-chair of the Student Women’s Association, said, “Last year we had over 100 people attend but I don’t have a specific number. I made 100 programs and it wasn’t enough! I’m expecting to have a greater turnout this year if not just because we started getting the word out earlier and perhaps even because we’ve changed the event to the fall.”

The event is usually held in the spring semester. Carey Nason of the Safe Campus Project said that Take Back the Night events date back at least to the early 1980s on campus. Other student organizations are also involved in the project, Rachel Zawacki, president of Umaine’s chapter of Amnesty International, will speak at the rally and members of the organization and other student organizations have been attending committee meetings and helping with the organizational efforts.

More information on worldwide efforts for Take Back the Night can be found at SWA will have a table in the Union on Oct. 11 and 12 to provide more information about the event.