On April 20, Brandeis’ Prevention, Advocacy & Resource Center (PARC) held its annual Take Back the Night event. In support of Sexual Assault Awareness Month in the U.S., PARC held this event for those who have experienced sexual violence on campus and around the world. Take Back the Night also collaborates with the Brandeis Sociology Department and the Jewish Feminist Association at Brandeis (JFAB).
The event attracted over 30 Brandeis students who were compelled to advocate for sexual rights and discuss relevant issues. During the event, Brandeis community members gave speeches held at the bottom of the Rabb Steps by PARC advocates, marched from the Rabb Steps to the Light of Reason and hosted student-only discussion of healing and activism in the Levine Ross Conference Room.
At the Rabb Steps, PARC organizers and peer advocates spoke about the history of Take Back the Night and what it means to them as Brandeis students. They gave quotes from famous female social activists and shared their experiences with previous Take Back the Night events. Students then were led from the Rabb Steps to the Light of Reason in a silent march. As students walked through the middle of campus, students viewing from different areas of campus joined in the march to the Light of Reason. After students made it to the Light of Reason, anyone was invited to join a confidential, student-led discussion in the Levine Ross Conference Room in Sherman Function Hall.
When speaking to one of the PARC volunteers at this event, she stated, “I’m not involved in PARC and do not hold any sort of leadership position, but when there was an opportunity to volunteer and take action, I instantly applied to become an organizer.” This event is open to all students to volunteer in as well as march and show their support. This student also noted that “Take Back the Night was started by students who have a passion for sexual violence awareness and wanted to create a safe and supporting environment for students at Brandeis. This event is solely about unity and bringing students together.”
Take Back the Night is a worldwide organization that has been supporting and highlighting sexual assault advocacy since the 1970s. They have led hundreds of marches for sexual assault awareness across 30 different countries since their founding. Take Back the Night serves as a catalyst for community support and encourages university students and people across the world to march for sexual assault awareness.
You can follow PARC on Instagram @brandeis_parc or look for opportunities on their website.
Editor’s note: The Hoot only spoke with PARC organizers and was not present at the student-only discussion, as everything shared was completely confidential.