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A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

'Take Back the Night' rally and march scheduled

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 23 - March 13, 1997

The eighth annual "Take Back the Night Rally and March" in Blacksburg will be held on Thursday, March 27. The purpose of this rally and candlelight march is to bring our community together to protest violence against women and to promote awareness of attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors which perpetuate this violence. Organizers encourage everyone to take action to change our society--a society in which women have reason to fear being out alone at night.

The rally, which will include speakers and musicians, will be held between 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the lawn in front of Alumni Hall. Beginning at 8 p.m., participants will march through campus and downtown Blacksburg, returning to the front of Alumni Hall for a closing celebration. The march route is accessible for disabled persons.

Before, during, and after the Rally and March, the Clothesline Project will be on display.

The first Take Back the Night event was held in Germany in 1973 in response to a series of sexual assaults, rapes, and murders. Five years later, the first U.S. Take Back the Night march was held in San Francisco; more than 5,000 women from 30 states participated. Since then, marches have been held in many cities throughout the U.S., Canada, Latin America, India, and Europe. In Virginia, Take Back the Night marches have been held in Richmond and Charlottesville, and at Radford University, Hollins College, and Virginia Tech. Marchers have called attention to violence against women--the sexual harassment, misogyny, rapes, and murders. Although marchers emphasize that violence against women occurs at all times, they are particularly concerned about violence at night.

Women and men of all ages are encouraged to join in the event, which is part of Women's Month 1997. Each participant is asked to wear a purple ribbon tied with a knot for every friend or family member who has been sexually assaulted. Ribbons will be worn throughout Women's Month to show support for victims and to protest sexual violence against all people. Purple ribbons will be available at information tables before events during Women's Month and each weekday at the Women's Center at Virginia Tech in Price House.

Participants are asked to bring small candles or flashlights. (In case of rain, participants will gather in the Donaldson Brown Hotel and Conference Center auditorium.)

Sponsoring organizations include Womanspace, the Black Female Coalition, Dean of Students Office, Graduate Student Assembly, League of Women Voters of Montgomery County, MAPs, Montgomery County NOW, Planned Parenthood of the Blue Ridge, SAVES, Virginia Tech Campus Ministers Association, Women's Center at Virginia Tech, Women's Network, Women's Resource Center of the New River Valley, Women's Studies Program, and YMCA at Virginia Tech.

For more information, please contact Susan Anderson at 951-2013 or 1-8041, or Serena Gruia at 961-7465.