Women take back the night in Sacramento

Justyce Mirjanovic

Take Back the Night is an event where people from all different races, ethnicities and genders come together to protest violence and stand up for equality. This event will be the 35th annual Take Back the Night Sacramento.

It will be held on Oct. 11 at 5 p.m. and will start at the Sacramento Native American Health Center.

Take Back the Night Sacramento is a night to celebrate and remember. Women, men, and families get together to walk the streets of Midtown to take action against domestic violence.

The evening will start with a Resource Fair at 5 p.m. to provide participants with information about where to get help and will continue throughout the rally.

The march will begin at 8 p.m. and there will be live music and a chance for survivors to share their story with others.

Take Back the Night is diverse and last year there were more than 300 people, said planning committee member Tina LeMoine.

LeMoine first attended Take Back the Night two years ago and last year she worked with security for the event. This is her first year on the planning committee.

LeMoine talked about a tent she remembered seeing last year filled with items from domestic violence victims with stories attached to them. One item stuck out to her, a pair of baby shoes from a baby who had passed away because of violence.

“It’s such a powerful visual image that you can connect to even if you’re not a parent, even if you’re not a woman,” LeMoine said.

Take Back the Night is not only about walking the streets at night to stand up against violence, but it is also meant to be a safe place for victims to talk about their experiences.

During the evening there will be a program where men can come forward and share ways to help end violence.

“The thing with violence against women, it’s not a women’s issue, it’s a human rights issue and thats really what we try and enforce,” LeMoine said. “It’s important for everyone to be involved and conscious of what’s going on.”

Biology major Allison Brown said many people are not aware of domestic violence from the perspective of those experiencing it. A current example would be everything surrounding Ravens football player, Ray Rice, who was caught on video abusing his wife.

“I believe many people don’t know how to escape violence and often place the blame on themselves,” Brown said.

Shani Neal, a member of the planning committee and Women’s Studies and Psychology major, said this is her second year attending.

Neal’s experience with Take Back the Night has been complex because she was discouraged by the lack of women of color. This year, more women of color have decided to volunteer and have been incorporated into the planning.

“Domestic Violence is an important issue to the health and well-being of our nation,”Neal said. “Keeping people awake and aware to the issues of sexual assault, violence, and abuse is advocating for peace and equality.”