“Take Back the Night” Walk Shows Solidarity with Sexual Assault Survivors and Highlights Campus Resources


After a three-year hiatus, Action for Sexual Assault Prevention continued its tradition by hosting “Take Back the Night,” a candlelit walk from the Residential Quad to the rooftop of the Tisch Library to show solidarity with survivors. After the walk on November 15, students and speakers from ASAP, University Chaplaincy, CARE and Ears for Peers came together to share a variety of resources on campus.

ASAP board members explained in a joint keynote at the start of the event how conversations about assault have changed to include a wider variety of experiences.

“Historically, these marches use dichotomies of dark and light to symbolize the experiences of survivors of sexual assault or sexual violence,” said Emily Karasik, sophomore and co-lead of the Survivor Safety Branch. from ASAP. “While widely embraced, the Stranger in a Dark Alley discourse about assault does not capture the majority of survivors’ experiences. In reality, many survivors know their attackers.

Leaders highlighted the event’s focus on engaging the community as a whole and community care and healing.

“’Take Back the Night’ is a reconquest of space. It’s a public example of community responsibility,” said Nick Hoffner, Junior and ASAP Conversations Co-Leader on Masculinity. “This is not a demonstration of one-off visibility. It’s a call to action. We want the legacy of ‘Take Back the Night’ to extend beyond this moment we shared together tonight.”

The statement highlighted the importance of restorative justice and pledged to reserve spaces for identities disproportionately affected by sexual violence.

“There is no one type of survivor,” said ASAP senior and president Rowan Hayden. “We recognize the range of experiences and identities claimed by survivors. We are committed to valuing every truth that survivors carry. »

University Chaplain Elyse Nelson Winger then spoke about the resources chaplaincy provides to anyone affected by sexual misconduct, directly or indirectly.

“We can talk to you about your reporting options. We can ask questions on your behalf in complete confidentiality while you consider what you might want to do,” she said. “But first and foremost, we’re here to listen and respond to whatever you might be feeling. Sorrow, rage, strength, hope and everything in between.

Emma Cohen, Associate Prevention and Intervention Specialist and Confidential Resource at CARE, then spoke about the wide range of students who come seeking support.

“Students come because a friend is going through something, because a roommate is going through something, because he’s a student leader [organization] or a sports team… and they need support,” she said.

She also explained that CARE will stand with anyone looking to report misconduct at every step.

“I can speak to OEO on your behalf,” she said. “We can call them on loudspeaker without sharing your name, sitting in my office if you want some questions answered. If there’s any interaction with TUPD, I can be on all those calls. I could come to all these meetings.

Cohen went on to highlight the lack of sexual health education in American high schools, highlighting the work of Tufts sexual health representatives to address it.

“This year, only 13% of incoming first years were from states that mandated medically accurate sex education,” she said. “It’s a lot of people who haven’t had a good sex education, and they come to our campus not really knowing about healthy relationships, not necessarily understanding how to ask for consent, and a lot of harm can happen that way. without intent.”

Hoffner spoke to The Daily about the specific programs ASAP runs on gender and violence.

“[We engage with] someone of any id to come and discuss some of the ways masculinity has impacted your life and also some of the intersections[it has with misconduct and violence, but also just talking about relationships, friendships, [and] the presence masculinity can have and how it can affect everyone,” he said.

In an interview with The Daily, Hayden mentioned an ongoing program to help educate organizations about sexual assault prevention.

“We have an Education Outreach arm that does workshops for other clubs and groups on campus and the four workshops are Consent, Bystander Intervention, Perpetration Response [and] create a code of conduct and respond to disclosures of sexual assault,” Hayden said.

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