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Take Back the Night march to raise awareness of sexual violence

October 31, 2008

Loyola University New Orleans joins its neighbor Tulane University to call for an end to sexual violence in the 17th annual Take Back the Night, Wednesday, Nov. 5.

Marchers will gather in the horseshoe outside of Marquette Hall on Loyola’s main campus at 5:30 p.m. to hear powerful stories from survivors of sexual violence and abuse and then proceed by a candlelight march to the Rogers Memorial Chapel on Tulane’s campus for closing ceremonies and an open microphone.

Organizers say the event is designed primarily to heighten awareness of sexual violence against women and to empower survivors, but it is also a powerful healing ritual for the men and women who care about them.

Loyola and Tulane will sell raffle tickets for a chance to win gift baskets and also accept donations to benefit the Metropolitan Center for Women and Children, the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program at University Hospital and Crescent House/The Family Justice Center. Tickets can be purchased beginning Oct. 29, at designated tables in the Danna Student Center and at the Lavin-Bernick Center on Tulane’s campus. The tickets will be sold through the day of the event and at the event itself.

For the first time, organizers will offer free T-shirts to those who sign a “bystander pledge,” in which they promise to not contribute to behavior that condones sexual violence.

Ilyse Goldberg of the University Counseling Center said the pledge is integral to the mission of the march.

“The task of ending sexual violence is the responsibility of the community as a whole,” Goldberg said.

“This is an issue that needs a paradigm shift in the way that it is perceived. Focusing on bystander behavior is an attempt to begin that shift.”

Take Back the Night is open to the entire community, including women, men, survivors and supporters. For more information, please contact Ilyse Goldberg at (504) 865-3835 or by e-mail isgoldbe@loyno.edu.

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