WUFT News

Sexual assault victims raise awareness with ‘Take Back the Night’ event

By on April 4th, 2013

Sexual assault victims, counselors and friends raised their candles Wednesday night at the “Take Back The Night” event on the Reitz Union Colonnade.

The candlelight vigil came after community members read testimonials about the impact of sexual violence, ranging from rape victims to their partners.

April marks the start of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, during which victim advocates from organizations at the University of Florida and Alachua County hope to create greater awareness of rape.

Ashley Cortez, a victim advocate with the Alachua County Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center and an organizer of the event, emphasized the need for better public understanding in order to stop sexual assault.

Rachel Hennessey, a peer educator with Sexual Trauma/Interpersonal Violence Education at Gatorwell, began the open mic portion of the evening, telling the story of her sexual assault. Hennessey said events like “Take Back the Night” exist because rape and sexual assault are so misunderstood.

“Sexual assault and rape are not about sex, they’re about power,” she said. “Rape is a violent crime. It can happen to anyone.”

The crowd applauded Santa Fe College sophomore Elliott Capers for being one of the few men at the event when he spoke about his girlfriend’s sexual assault and how it affected them both. Capers said he went to the event to show his support for her.

The event concluded with victims and allies of all ages lifting about 75 candles in the air, one by one, and then bowing their heads.

Victim advocates are available through the Alachua County Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center as well as the UF Police Department.

Rebekah Geier edited this story online.


This entry was posted in Local and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Local

Retired Marine Cary Hill, unit commander of the Milton Lewis Young Marines, said "Freedom isn't free" during Memorial Day ceremonies at Forest Meadows Cemetery in Gainesville, Fla. Monday, May, 26, 2015.

Young Marines Honor Veterans On Memorial Day

Milton Lewis Young Marines honor veterans during Memorial Day ceremonies at Forest Meadows Cemetery in Gainesville. Mayor Ed Braddy and Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell were among the group that dedicated their speeches to veterans.


Roller Derby

Rolling to Recovery: Tattooed and Bruised

Camille Loose is a 30-year-old recovering methadone addict who may be better known to some by her roller derby name, Jane Dough. Loose turned to the sport to help overcome her past issues.


Park visitors enjoy a day in the crystal clear waters at Ichetucknee Springs State Park. Guests can enjoy tubing from the north entrance beginning Memorial Day Weekend.

Ichetucknee Springs Reopens Entrance for Memorial Day

Ichetucknee Springs is reopening the northern entrance of the park for Memorial Day weekend. 4,000 are expected to be in attendance during the three-day weekend.


Deputy County Manager Betty Baker speaks to the Gainesville City Commission on the need for regulations at the homeless camp Dignity Village. Thursday, commissioners approved to spend up to $50,000 to secure an emergency contract with a non-profit provider.

City Commission Grants Gainesville Management Of Dignity Village

Gainesville City Commission passes a motion for the management of Dignity Village. The motion begins the process of addressing safety issues and concerns regarding the logistics of the community.


Gina Eaton (left), a 34-year-old graduate student at UF, and Heather Petroccia, a 26-year-old Ph.D. student at UF, clean out buckets to prepare them to mix grout for the tiles.

Habitat For Humanity Build Programs Empower Women

National Women Build Week was May 2-10. Alachua Habitat for Humanity Women Build participated in the weeklong event.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments