College students from across New Orleans are uniting to bring attention to gender-based violence on campus and in the community, joining together to march in the 21st annual Take Back the Night rally sponsored by Tulane, Loyola University of New Orleans and Dillard University.
“Take Back the Night is an opportunity for people to come together and take a public stand against sexual and gender violence, which helps to foster a culture of non-violence at the university and in the community,” says Julia Broussard, coordinator of Violence Prevention and Support Services at Tulane. (Photo by Claire Barry)
This year’s event will be on Tuesday (Oct. 23) at 6 p.m. Marchers will gather at the Loyola University horseshoe on St. Charles Avenue and lead the march around the Tulane uptown campus.
Tulane students and staff have been gathering at the Newcomb College Institute
for weeks to plan the rally. Senior Hanna Lipman has worked on the event during her three years on campus, and her participation has had a powerful impact on her.
“I have come to realize that everyone has been affected by sexual aggression in some way, directly or otherwise, and this event is a way for all the survivors and friends and family of survivors to come together and take a stand against such a horrific crime,” Lipman says.
“Being a survivor is a terribly isolating experience,” she adds, “but when you are in that crowd, chanting about taking back control, or sitting in the speak-out and hearing people share their individual experiences, there is this amazing sense of unity and of comfort from the strength of those around you.”
In addition to the march, several student groups have organized fundraising initiatives in conjunction with the event that benefit victim’s service organizations in the New Orleans area, including Crescent House, Metropolitan Center for Women and Children and the SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) Program.
Aidan Smith is external affairs officer for the Newcomb College Institute.