Take Back the Night rally educates people about domestic violence and rape

Shantel Pettway

On Sept. 25, the University of Louisville held a rally called Take Back the Night at the Red Barn to raise awareness about interpersonal violence.

Sharon LaRue, a physician of an outreach center at Washington University pulled the 43rd annual meeting together, with help from U of L’s Office of Diversity and International Affairs, LGBT groups, the Zeta Phi Beta sorority, and more groups from the University of Louisville.

Mayor Greg Fischer came to give out the Mayor’s Award. He awarded the key to the city to Nancy Swatmen, declaring Sept. 25, 2012 her day. “If we try we can get better. Hands are made for helping, not hurting.” Mayor Fischer said.

The Voice-Tribune’s Angie Fenton MC’d most of Take Back the Night, speaking out at the rally about her experience with rape. Rape is never okay, she said, no matter the circumstance or the gender. She said when she first spoke out about it, people didn’t understand enough to show compassion to her. “When I told my parents they asked me what I was wearing the night it happened to me,” she said.

As the rally continued, the Zeta Phi Betas, and the Deltas lead the crowd in encouraging cheers about taking back the night they were abused, and how change is possible if one speaks out.

The fraternities helped contribute as well, raising 500 dollars and having 150 men sign an agreement never to use their hands or any body part on a woman.

When the  rally was coming to a close, the floor was opened up so people, including some U of L students, could share their stories. Specialists were there to help those who wanted to conference.

Rachel Hurriagan (12) was in attendance, and she thought that the rally was good to bring to the university, and having specialist there heightened her experience. “This rally gave people knowledge from their peers and experts about interpersonal violence,” she said, “and I believe it should be on all universities.”