The conversation of consent is happening on every campus, even at Sonoma State Univeristy.
Take Back The Night, a charitable organization dedicated to raising awareness about rape culture and domestic abuse, will make an appearance on campus on April 24, in Ballroom A from 7 - 8 p.m. Continuing to have an active conversation about consent is important to all students.
“I just think that a 11-by-5 inch poster in everyone’s dorm room isn’t enough. And there should be more of an emphasis for programs, people, or places survivors can go to for help, even if the assault wasn’t recent or on campus.” said Ella Andrada, a freshmen at Sonoma State. “And students need to know about it.”
The Take Back The Night event’s goal is to inform the students of Sonoma State how rape culture, domestic violence, and sexual abuse affects all genders and sexual orientations.
The first Take Back The Night event at Sonoma State happened in 2014, and had generally positive feedback from students. Two main activities were an open conversation for the audience, and then a march afterwards. The audience was not required to tell their stories of their own experiences, however they were welcome to, in order to help the audience feel like they weren’t alone.
“Community can be an effective device when it comes to people healing. I don’t think I would share my own stories, but being there and listening to others tell their stories sounds like a good way to make connections and feel like I’m not alone” Andrada said.
After the conversation, they marched through the campus holding candles, and chanting “yes means yes, no means no.”
“I think that anything to raise awareness for that issue is a good thing to put on. It’s especially true since we’re on a college campus and it’s unfortunately not unheard of to hear about sexual assaults here,” said junior Maxwell Belote-Broussard.
The organization, Take Back The Night, came together around 2001 under the leadership of Katie Koestner, an American activist against sexual assault.
Koestner was a victim of date rape herself, and was the first woman in the United States to come out nationally and publically with her campus date rape story. Her goal, as well as Take Back The Night, is to raise awareness of sexual assault, sexual abuse, domestic violence, and more.
Take Back The Night events started in the 1960’s with women in Belgium and England protesting feeling scared to walk home at night.
“I don’t like walking alone anywhere at night. I do feel somewhat safer on campus than I do off campus, but in both cases I’d much rather be with people or just avoid walking at night in general, so that I can keep myself safe from possible bad situations,” said sophomore Sabrina Myers.