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Loyola University New Orleans Hosts 26th Annual Take Back the Night March

Loyola press release - October 23, 2017

For the 26th consecutive year, Loyola University New Orleans unites local universities in an annual crusade against sexual violence. Loyola University New Orleans is joining the international wave of peaceful protests to end rape and other forms of sexual violence and to show support for survivors on Wednesday as it hosts the Crescent City’s 26th annual “Take Back the Night event and March Against Sexual Violence.” The annual candlelight vigil and march begin at 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017 outside the Marquette Building on Loyola’s main campus, 6363 St. Charles Ave.

“Take Back the Night is an annual event to raise awareness about gender-based violence and empower survivors to speak out about their experiences in a supportive environment,” said Erin Shapiro, staff counselor at Loyola’s University Counseling Center. “It also offers an opportunity to connect with survivor service agencies and raise awareness for an important cause.”

The event this year takes on heightened awareness as the university honors Disability Awareness Month. Sexual violence and disability-specific abuse can worsen mental health outcomes for women with a disability. These negative mental health effects are typically accompanied by other adverse behavioral, physical, and academic outcomes. By demonstrating the particular vulnerability of women with a disability to the adverse health effects of sexual abuse, Loyola highlights the need for appropriate mental health services and sexual violence prevention programs on college campuses. The Office of Disability Services at Loyola joins the Women’s Resource Center and the University Counseling Center in their efforts to heighten awareness of sexual violence on campus and to empower survivors.

Approximately 600 participants are expected to march down St. Charles Avenue to Tulane’s Qatar ballroom at the Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life, where survivors are encouraged to share their stories at a “speak-out.” Loyola is partnering with Dillard, Tulane, Xavier universities, the University of New Orleans and University of Holy Cross to lead this important effort.

Students, faculty, staff and area residents are invited to attend and support this free, public event. Campus police will serve as escorts and advocates will be available at the events in case participants are triggered.

MEDIA ARE INVITED TO THE CANDLELIGHT VIGIL AND MARCH. THE SPEAKOUT EVENT IS PRIVATE AND CLOSED TO MEDIA.