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‘Take Back the Night’ Activities Begin Jan. 19

Posted on January 15th, 2009

“Take Back the Night,” an annual student-directed rally uniting men and women against sexual violence, will be held Monday through Thursday, Jan. 19-22.

“The purpose of the annual program is to build greater awareness of issues related to sexual violence, to provide safe settings to talk about the problem and to provide help to victims of sexual harassment and violence,” according to student organizer Julie Denlinger, an EMU senior social work major from Lancaster, Pa.

Events Include Discussions, Self-Defense Workshop

Activities will begin at 8 p.m. on Monday, January 19th with the showing of a documentary and a panel discussion on issues surrounding sexual assault in the Common Grounds Coffeehouse.

“Take Back the Night” t-shirts will be distributed on both Monday and Tuesday in the Campus Center. These are available for purchase or to borrow for the week. Students and community members will also support the White Ribbon Campaign by wearing white ribbons in recognition of male victims of sexual violence.

An informational, hands-on workshop on self-defense led by EMU senior Emily Gingrich will be held 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 20 in the exercise room of the fitness center at the north end of the University Commons. Both men and women are invited to come and learn self-defense techniques.

Stories of Healing and Survival

Local resident Keith Morris will tell his story of hope as a survivor of abuse in a university chapel talk 10 a.m. Wednesday in Lehman Auditorium. Morris serves on the board of directors of the Collins Center, formerly CASA (Citizens Against Sexual Assault) of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.

Take Back the Night planning committee members and EMU Counseling Center staff will collaborate in leading a time of “honoring our woundedness” in the journey toward healing from sexual violence at 8 p.m. Wednesday in room 105 of the Campus Center. This brand new workshop will include music, messages, readings and healing rituals for all those who have experienced sexual violence, those who know of people who have, and those who want to stand in solidarity with those who have been abused.

Activities will conclude with a coffee house and open mike session and music 8 p.m. Thursday in the Common Grounds Coffeehouse. Refreshments will be served.

Counselors will be available at most sessions during the week.

Admission is free to all events.

For more information, call the department of social work and applied sociology at (540) 432-4450.

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