Will County Take Back the Night announces that its annual Vigil and March Against Sexual Assault will take place this year on October 5 at Hufford Junior High School in Joliet. The annual event brings together survivors, supporters, advocates, and community leaders in a call for the end of violence against women. The keynote speaker will be Nikki Merriman, a Joliet-raised author who is an advocate and public speaker on significant topics such as sexual assault and teen dating violence.
“Every year, women continue to be victims of unspeakable violence — ranging from sexual assault perpetrated by a stranger to domestic abuse in the home. Take Back the Night unites people from all backgrounds, beliefs, and cultures to take a visible and vocal stand against sexual violence in all forms,” said Committee Co-Chair Amirrah Abou-Youssef. “Everyone in our community is invited to show support for survivors, commemorate those who were taken from us because of sexual violence, and learn more about how to protect our loved ones. This significant annual event truly unites the entire community as we envision an end to crimes of violence against women, including sexual assault, child sexual abuse, domestic violence, and rape.”
The 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 in honor of Will County women and children who have been murdered over the past decade. This year marks Will County Take Back the Night’s 27th annual event. Hufford Junior High School is located at 1125 North Larkin Avenue in Joliet.
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, Will County Take Back the Night raises funds to benefit local women’s programs. A pantry drive to benefit local shelters will also 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.