My name is Katie. I’m this year’s Take Back The Night Intern.
I decided that I needed to be an activist when I first read Sojourner Truth’s Ain’t I A Woman speech in 11th grade history. Also what happened when I was in high school: SlutWalks came to the US, politicians debate on “legitimate rape,” Beyonce releases a song that features a section of a Ted Talk by Chimanda Ngozi Adichie, 238 trans people were murdered worldwide in 2013.
This is my third year helping with TBTN. It’s my first year helping at Ithaca, but I’ve been helping organize and lead TBTN at Wells College too.
Why do I Take Back The Night?
Because every 98 seconds, someone in the US is sexually assaulted. Because 94% of women experience post traumatic stress disorder symptoms (PTSD) in two weeks after the assault. Because 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
I Take Back The Night because I want to stand up for what’s right, to recognize the hurting in my community, and to say that the status quo is not okay.
Take Back The Night is an annual event held across the world to speak out against the violence that women faced while walking at night. TBTN has evolved since the first march in 1973, to include all victims of sexual violence and intimate partner violence. TBTN has been organized in Tompkins County since 1979, making this year the 38th. Our event makes a conscious effort to include men in the rally to acknowledge them as allies and as victims.
I Take Back The Night because I believe that our community shouldn’t accept unsafe streets, sexual assault, domestic violence, rape, or child sexual abuse. I Take Back The Night because I believe in safe spaces, speaking out, and standing together. I Take Back The Night because “we have the power/ we have the right/ the streets are ours/ Take Back The Night.”
This year, the Ithaca TBTN them will be “Healing Through Storytelling.” TBTN will begin April 28 at 6pm on the Ithaca Commons. If you’d like to get involved in planning or would like to know what more you can do, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ll be posting more blog posts every week. You’ll be able to read more about my journey through my experience as the Take Back The Night intern and current events. Please, be in touch if you have any ideas or would like me to address something.