Shining a light on a safer future: Mount Saint Mary College "Take Back the Night" walk
Mount Saint Mary College recently held a Take Back the Night event organized by the Student Government Association, taking a strong stance against sexual violence. The event featured a speech by Katie Koestner, the founder of Take Back the Night, a candlelit walk, and a series of poems read by Mount students. The event aimed to raise awareness about sexual violence and empower survivors.
Katie Koestner's speech was a moving highlight of the evening. She opened her speech by asking attendees to think about the first time they ever knew what they wanted to be when they grew up and what they thought they would do with their lives. She then shared her story and the path that brought her to where she is today.
"Take back the night is where when I was 18 I started to realize I wasn't the only and I wasn't alone," said Koestner. She stressed the importance of creating safe and supportive communities for survivors of sexual violence and reminded everyone that it is never the survivor's fault.
"You knew the end of the story before the first word I spoke…I didn't see it coming," Koestner said, emphasizing that we should not be critical of a survivor's story by telling them, "you should have known better" or "you shouldn't have brought them back to your room."
Following Koestner's speech, attendees participated in a candlelit walk that paid tribute to the victims of sexual violence. The candles served as a powerful reminder of the impact of sexual violence on individuals and communities and the need for change. In addition, the event provided a safe space for survivors to come forward and share their stories and for the community to stand with them.
Take Back the Night events like the one at Mount Saint Mary College are essential in the fight against sexual violence. By raising awareness, empowering survivors, and creating a supportive community, we can work towards ending sexual violence and promoting healing and justice for survivors. To get involved or donate to Take Back the Night, visit https://takebackthenight.org/. Together, we can make a difference.