Take Back the Night announces that the annual Vigil and March Against Sexual Assault resumes in-person this year on October 20th at Hufford Junior High School in Joliet, following two years of virtual programming as a result of the COVID pandemic. This year marks Take Back the Night’s 26th annual event.
“Violence against women and children does not discriminate. Victims come from all walks of life, and it does not matter who you are, where you live, or how much you make,” said Committee Chair Amirrah Abou-Youssef. “This event demonstrates the importance of coming together to stand up against perpetrators and offers support for victims who might otherwise be forgotten. We invite everyone in our community to join in this emotional and empowering event, where our community unites in supporting survivors and commemorating the victims taken from us through senseless violence.”
The event’s keynote speaker will be Stephanie Austin-aka Eden Strong, founder of the nonprofit organization Rise from the Ashes that provides pro bono legal representation to domestic violence victims. A survivor of domestic violence, Eden Strong began documenting her experiences online after her abusive husband disappeared in 2012 and has been featured in such national media as Time Magazine and USA Today. She is now remarried and raising three children.
This year’s event begins at 5 pm with a resource fair featuring social service agencies that assist crime victims. The program begins at 6 pm and will conclude with the vigil and march led by loved ones representing the spirits of those no longer with us.
Take Back the Night began in Europe in 1976 in response to a series of sexual assaults and murders against women. The first event in the United States was held five years later, offering an opportunity for survivors of abuse to join with others of all races, cultures, backgrounds, and experiences to join in calling for an end to violence. In addition to hosting the annual rally to raise awareness against sexual violence and support survivors in their healing process, Take Back the Night raises funds for local agencies which assist women and their families. A pantry drive to benefit local shelters will be held at the event and donations of nonperishable items are welcomed.
For more information, or to donate to help assist victims of violence, please contact Amirrah at [email protected] or visit www.willtbtn.com.