MADELINE SPENCER-ORRELL ’20
“Take Back the Night” is an event that originated in the 1970s by a female organization who wanted to address rape and violence against women. Trinity began hosting its own event in the 1980s. Many different campuses across the United States, as well as internationally, participate in “Take Back the Night” to raise awareness about sexual assault. While some groups will host marches and rallies, the event at Trinity, sponsored by the group Students Encouraging Consensual Sex (SECS), will host “an evening of presentations, entertainment, and survivor stories.” These presentations will primarily be shared by Trinity students. They are meant for students to express themselves, and could include poetry and even dance.
Along with presentations by students, Cathy Malloy will be the keynote speaker. Malloy is the Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Hartford Arts Council and the wife of Governor Dan Malloy. She was recruited to talk at Trinity for “Take Back the Night” by request of student members of SECS. After attending an outside event at which Malloy spoke, they were in awe of the message she shared, and wanted it to be shared here on campus. Her talk will address affirmative consent: holding people accountable for their actions and not creating excuses. The purpose of the event’s name, “Take Back the Night,” is to combat the notion of women being unsafe walking the streets at night. While violence and assault is not restricted to night time, it is when many women feel uncomfortable walking alone. Women should be able to walk freely at any time; therefore, the purpose of the event and the title is to reclaim the night.
Monique Daley, the faculty adviser of SECS, has worked with student co-chairs Russ Pierson and Amber Stevenson and the rest of the group to organize this wonderful event. “Take Back the Night” has been around for years and is already familiar to many students and faculty. The event is about engagement with the community and its organizers are always looking to find new groups to engage with. So even if you are unfamiliar with the event, please come out to show your support of Trinity’s community and all of the survivors and victims who are a part of it.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and “Take Back the Night” is meant to do just that. Daley believes that raising awareness is all about communication and constantly adding educational building blocks so people can understand an issue. Once an issue is understood, positive change can be created in society. Therefore, Daley would like to encourage everyone, whether they be in Greek life, or on athletic teams, to participate in this event. She shares, “As long as you are a part of Trinity, you have a place at ‘Take Back the Night.’” Simply having knowledge of resources on campus and in larger communities is valuable so that you can potentially help someone else who may need it.
The event will take place from 7-9 p.m. on Tuesday, April 18th in Vernon Social. It is an open event, and anyone connected to Trinity is welcome and encouraged to attend. Daley would like to remind those who do attend that there will be survivors and victims of sexual assault at the event, so please be conscious and aware of that.