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Take Back the Night march to raise awareness of sexual violence

Loyola press release - October 12, 2009

Loyola University New Orleans joins its neighbor Tulane University to call for an end to sexual violence in the 18th annual Take Back the Night, on Tuesday, Oct. 27.

Marchers will gather in the horseshoe outside of Marquette Hall on Loyola’s main campus at 6 p.m. to hear powerful stories from survivors of sexual violence and abuse and then proceed by a candlelight march to the Myra Clare Rogers Memorial Chapel on Tulane’s campus for closing ceremonies and an open microphone.

The event is designed primarily to heighten awareness of sexual violence against women and to empower female 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 will also accept donations. All proceeds benefit the Metropolitan Center for Women and Children, the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program at LSU Public Hospital and Crescent House. Tickets can be purchased beginning Oct. 20, at designated tables in Tulane’s Lavin-Bernick Center, and on Oct. 21 at Loyola’s Danna Student Center. The tickets will be sold through the day of the event and at the event itself.

Organizers are also asking many university department heads at both Tulane and Loyola to encourage their employees to wear jeans and a teal shirt or ribbon on Oct. 27. “Denim and Teal Day” is a voluntary effort, and a $5 contribution to the cause is appreciated.

Take Back the Night T-shirts, purchased from a company that uses environmentally-friendly and ethical production practices, will be given to participants who sign a bystander pledge. Pledge participants promise not to contribute to behavior that condones sexual violence.

Ilyse Goldberg, assistant director of the University Counseling Center and Loyola’s Take Back the Night chair, 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 New Orleans community, including women, men, survivors and supporters. For more information, contact Goldberg at 504-865-3835 or isgoldbe@loyno.edu or Karen Reichard, director of the Women's Resource Center at 504-864-7881 or reichard@loyno.edu.