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Loyola hosts candlelit vigil to stop sexual violence

Loyola press release - October 22, 2012

Loyola University New Orleans is joining the fight to end rape and other forms of sexual violence by hosting a candlelit rally Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 6 p.m. Loyola is partnering with Dillard and Tulane universities for the 21st Annual New Orleans Take Back the Night. The ceremony will begin on the Marquette lawn on Loyola’s main campus. Participants will march down St. Charles Avenue and end at Tulane’s campus where survivors will share their stories.

This year the event is going social. Follow the conversation on Twitter and track #NOLATBTN2012 to join in Loyola’s virtual Take Back the Night march.

“Take Back the Night reframes sexual violence as an issue of social justice,” said Brooks Zitzmann, chairwoman of Take Back the Night 2012 and staff counselor at Loyola. “It connects survivors to healing and to resources. It unites diverse populations within New Orleans, our common home. It supports those who serve our community. It’s about being with and for others through civic engagement for the causes of peace, hope and justice.”

Local schools are also joining in the effort, including Dr. King Charter School and Joseph A. Craig Elementary school.

Participants can donate their no-longer-used wireless devices and accessories to HopeLine from Verizon. Proceeds are used to provide wireless devices and accessories and cash grants to New Orleans advocacy organizations that focus on domestic violence prevention and awareness.

“Every two minutes someone is sexually assaulted in the United States and 60 percent of these crimes will go unreported to the police,” said Krista Bourne, president of the Houston/Gulf Coast Region for Verizon Wireless. “Through our HopeLine program, Verizon Wireless works to empower these victims while letting others know how they can protect themselves from becoming a victim. We are proud to partner with Loyola, Tulane and Dillard universities to bring awareness to this highly underreported crime that impacts millions of men, women and children each year.”

Faculty and staff are joining in on the Take Back the Night effort Oct. 23 by donating $5 to wear denim and teal—the color of sexual violence awareness. Starting Thursday, Oct. 18, raffle tickets are being sold in Loyola’s Danna Student Center for an Oct. 23 raffle. Prizes include Saints merchandise and Neiman Marcus skin care products. Fundraising proceeds go to local charities including Crescent House, Metropolitan Center for Women and Children and the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners program.

For more information, please contact Loyola’s Associate Director of Public Affairs Mikel Pak at 504-861-5448.