Sexual violence continues to be an important issue in Michigan and nationally.
The Michigan Department of Community Health reports 40% of women in the state have experienced some form of sexual violence, ranging from unwanted touching to forcible rape, since the age of 16. A 2006 survey by the U.S. Department of Justice found that nationally 17.6% of surveyed women and 3% of surveyed men were raped at some point in their lifetime. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Justice has reported that sexual assault is a vastly underreported crime.
It is important to raise awareness about sexual violence, and where to find support and assistance.
April has been designated as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. As part of the observance, the Women's Educational Center is sponsoring Take Back the Night on Wednesday, April 4, 5 p.m. in the Happenings Room of University Center.
Take Back the Night is an evening dedicated to taking a stand against abuse and sexual assault, while creating a supportive environment for expression and empowerment. The program this year will include presentations by survivors, information about sexual violence, as well as a march down Saginaw Street.
From the late 1970s through present day, Take Back the Night events have been held by university women's centers, rape crisis centers, battered women's shelters, and other organizations dedicated to helping women achieve safety and empowerment. Events have been held in England, Belgium, Australia, Canada, the Caribbean Islands, and the United States.
Other groups participating include: Criminal Justice Club, Theta Chi Fraternity, Theta Phi Alpha Sorority, Dance Club, and the YWCA of Greater Flint.