Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s “Take Back the Night”

by Elizabeth Moriarty

Take Back the Night

The Saint Mary’s College Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO) and the University of Notre Dame’s Gender Relations Center (GRC) are co-sponsoring “Take Back the Night” (TBTN) on Thursday (April 28). This year Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s are recognized among the TBTN Foundation’s “10 Points of Light”—10 locations across the country that will stand in solidarity on the same night, lighting candles to support survivors and to raise awareness for sexual violence and rape.

TBTN at Notre Dame and St. Mary’s is an event that allows men and women to stand in solidarity with survivors of rape and sexual assault and to show a commitment to preventing this violence from happening in our community. The event includes:

  • 7 p.m., kick-off for Saint Mary’s students – Lake Marian
  • 7:30 p.m., candlelight vigil – Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto, Notre Dame
  • 8 p.m., march – Notre Dame campus
  • 8:30 p.m, speak out and bonfire – Holy Cross Hill (not open to media for reporting)

According to information provided by BAVO, issues of sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking impact college-aged women at disproportionately higher rates than other populations. National statistics indicate that one out of every six women will be sexually assaulted during their lifetime; college-aged women are four times more likely to be sexually assaulted; and 60 percent of sexual assaults go unreported (Source: Rape, Abuse & Incest Network). One in four women experiences relationship violence in her lifetime; and women who are between the ages of 20 and 24 are at the greatest risk for nonfatal relationship violence (Source:National Coalition Against Domestic Violence).

April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Saint Mary’s College and Notre Dame have co-sponsored TBTN in previous years, though this is the first time BAVO has been involved since the office opened in fall 2010.

Note to media: All events are open to media for reporting except the speak out, in order to respect the privacy of those who feel compelled to share their personal stories.