On Wednesday, Nov. 10, Students Against Sexual Assault at Western Carolina University hosted Take Back the Night- a night dedicated to survivors and supporters.
“When SASA was asked to plan “Take Back the Night” we immediately jumped on it. Even though we were excited, it was also daunting. Nonetheless, I am extremely pleased with how it turned out and am so happy people were able to come and stand in solidarity,” Rayna Teague, SASA Board Member, said.
The event kicked off with sign-in sheets, glow stick bracelets, poster making, table viewing, apple cider, and other snacks. Resources tables we set for organizations such as Students Against Sexual Assault, Intercultural Affairs, Sexuality and Gender Alliance, University Police Department, Title X Office, Counseling and Psychological Services, REACH of Macon County, and Center for Domestic Peace- all of which are excellent resources which can help survivors with documentation, mental and physical health, as well as abuse aid.
Once the event officially started, each table stood to talk about their organization and what they offer to support survivors.
Immediately following, the presentator’s open mic began where anyone could stand and tell their story, read poetry, or just talk. After the open mic ended, the preparation for the march began where chanting slogans were passed out and read as a group to ensure unity to speak in the march.
From there, the door flew open and supporters were on the sidewalks with posters in hand joining in chants. To end the night the march concluded at the fountain where luminaries and music created an atmosphere of contemplation on the importance of the night.
“ICA has been a part of this event for many, many years and over the past year, we have felt that the event aligned with SASA’s mission so we turned over the ownership of the event to them and helped to support the event in whatever ways we could. I have always felt this is an impactful event that gives people a chance to take back what is fearful- there is a lot of fear in the dark and it is nice to take it back for the night and it is extremely powerful,” Dean Paulk, Assistant Director of Intercultural Affairs, said.