Take Back the Night, a march to stop violence, will be held at the WNMU Student Memorial Building Patio from 5:30 to 8 pm on November 12th. For more information, visit www.takebackthenight.org
The following is a short history of Take Back the Night, as found here: http://takebackthenight.org/about
Over the years, Take Back The Night has become internationally known, as a way to take a stand against sexual violence and speak out against these horrible crimes. The first documented Take Back The Night event in the United States took place in October of 1975 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Citizens rallied together after the murder of young microbiologist, Susan Alexander Speeth, who was stabbed to death by a stranger no more than a block away from her home while walking the streets, alone.
The first international Take Back The Night event occurred at The International Tribunal on Crimes against Women. The Tribunal took place March 4-8, 1976 in Brussels, Belgium. Over 2000 women, representing 40 countries, attended the event. In other parts of Europe, Take Back The Night began under the name “Reclaim the Night“. In 1976 there were roughly 16,000 rapes reported in Rome which fueled the “Reclaim the Night” movement in Italy. The movement expanded from Rome to West Germany, where women were harassed and assaulted both day and night. Women in West Germany held their first “Reclaim the Night” on April 30, 1977.
International interest in the movement continued to grow over the next few years. The next city to hold a “Reclaim the Night” event was Leeds, England in November 1977. Australia’s first event was in 1978 to protest abortion and contraception. In Bombay, India, women participated in their first “Reclaim the Night” in March 1978. Across the Atlantic, the women of North America continued to speak out, as well. Pennsylvania held the first North American march for women in 1975, however, it wasn’t until 1977 that the slogan “Take Back The Night” was introduced by Anne Pride as the title of a memorial she read at an anti-violence rally in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was in 1978 that for the first time marchers in San Francisco used “Take Back the Night” as their slogan during a protest against the objectionable depiction of women in pornography.
Canada has also seen its share of sexual violence against women. As a result, Canadian women held their first march for women in 1978 in Vancouver, British Columbia, organized by the Fly-By-Night Collective. The Vancouver Rape Relief held Take Back The Night marches from 1980-1985. In 1981, The Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centers declared the third Friday of September to be the evening for Take Back The Night marches nationwide.
For over 35 years in the United States, Take Back The Night has focused on eliminating sexual violence, in all forms, and thousands of colleges, universities, women’s centers, and rape crisis centers have sponsored events all over the country.