By Jessica Pupo
Last week was the annual COF-wide “Take Back the Night” Week of Action. Many might not know much about Take Back the Night outside of it being an annual event at Simmons, but its history began over half a century ago.
Starting with women coming together to protest and raise awareness for the issues they were facing everyday, Take Back the Night has expanded to became an international event and non-profit organization.
The Take Back the Night marches originated in Canada in the early 1980s, with some of its first marches to protest sexual violence just two years prior in 1978.
Since then, many in the United States took on Take Back the Night, sponsoring thousands of events focused on eliminating all forms of sexual violence. Countless colleges, universities, women’s centers, and rape crisis centers have become part of Take Back the Night by hosting these events and ensuring that survivors of sexual assault have a space where they don’t have to feel isolated or judged.
Throughout the years, the event at Simmons has grown to include the involvement of many COF and Boston student organizations and offices. This year, Take Back the Night was co-sponsored by the COF Student Activities Committee, Simmons College Violence Prevention and Educational Outreach Program and Betsy’s Friends Peer Education Program, the Simmons Trans and Non-Binary Collective, the Simmons Sexuality, Women and Gender Center (SWAG), Wentworth College Residential Life, Northeastern’s Sexual Assault Response Coalition, and Wheelock College’s Students Advocating for Gender Equality (SAGE).
With the increasing number of co-sponsors, Take Back the Night continues to expand and allow for more survivors to share their stories and find support. Each year, our “Take Back the Night” Week of Action adopts a unique theme and hosts events with that theme in mind. This year’s theme was “Nevertheless, we persist.”
The week culminates with the Take Back the Night march and Speak Out. Even though this year’s march was canceled due to the weather, the impact of the event was still felt at the Speak Out.
To quote directly from the organization: “As the history of Take Back The Night continues to be written, its mission to end sexual violence for all remains a beacon of hope for the millions affected by crimes of violence. We have made great strides, but our march is far from over.”