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Mel December 27th 2009 06:09 PM

Take Back the Night
Article featured in Avatar - Volume 3, Issue 5 (November 2009).

Take Back the Night
by Katrina

November's Cause of the Month, Take Back the Night, got it's start in the late '70s as victims, but more importantly, survivors, of sexual abuse got together with their friends and family to raise awareness about the pressing issue. Earlier on (or 'In the beginning' or 'At its start'), the events focused mainly on different local unsafe areas and how to make them safer. Throughout the 70s, and right up until November of 2009, there have been many more of these gatherings held, including times of reflection, hope, speaking out against abuse, and healing with candlelight vigils, but mostly of showing those who turn up that they are loved.

Though these events were originally geared towards women, more and more men have begun to show their support, some of these men the victims of sexual abuse themselves. Take Back the Night appreciates anyone coming to events as it promotes healing among those already there. Today, Take Back the Night events focus on sexual abuse as a whole, whether it be domestic abuse, child abuse, internet abuse, or anything else.

"Take Back the Night's supporters have always understood the power of speaking out."

The website of Take Back the Night has a particular portion of the site dedicated to speaking out, "Shatter[ing] the Silence", which can be found here: http://www.takebackthenight.org/net-share.php. The site expresses what an integral part of the healing process talking things out is and encourages those who have struggled with sexual abuse to not let these crimes live up to their name: "crimes of silence" .

There are so many more amazing parts of the site, but one of the most helpful may be the resources list which include hotlines and other websites that may be beneficial to someone having experienced a traumatic event relating to sexual abuse. If you'd like to take a look at this list, it can be found here: http://www.takebackthenight.org/resources.html. Finally, I would highly encourage anyone, as we are all affected somehow by the crimes Take Back the Night tries to prevent in some way, to check out the main site to get an idea of the incredible efforts of this great organization: www.takebackthenight/org.

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