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

Preserving History Through Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ Recipe

The Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings State Park exists as a way to remember Florida history… But the workers there are doing something extra to “preserve” memories. WUFT’s Marie Edinger reports.


CMT’s “Gainesville” docu-series will premiere Aug. 20 at 10 p.m. This “coming of age” show will focus on a group of 20-something year old’s as they try to make it on their own. Photo courtesy of CMT

Gainesville Reality Show Set To Air Aug. 20

Country Music Television’s new docu-series “Gainesville” is set to air back-to-back episodes on Aug. 20 at 10 p.m. Some residents are worried that the show will not accurately portray Gainesville.


Midwife Talks About Life Experiences

Former midwife, Glenn Cameron, gives a glimpse into her years as a midwife in the 70s and the challenges the practice presented.


FDOT Cuts Funding For Active Streets

The FDOT cut funding for Gainesville’s Active Streets event, which offers free pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly activities twice per year. The organization and its supporters are trying to overturn the decision and look for new ways to fund the event.


Amanda Norman and two other Grace Marketplace residents wait outside the kitchen doors as it rains heavily. Norman has lived in Dignity Village for more than two months. photo by Thomas Lynn

The Grace Marketplace Debate Over Improvements

Gainesville’s City Commission approved a $585,525 budget for improvements that will make 10 campus buildings at the Empowerment Center livable. Residents and volunteers look forward to the changes, but some are concerned by the nearby chaos at Dignity Village.


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