Candlelight vigil to raise awareness about domestic violence
BATON ROUGE, LA — In an effort to bring the community together and raise awareness of domestic and sexual violence, the LSU Health and Wellness Center and the LSU Women’s Center are collaborating with more than 15 campus and community organizations to host the Take Back the Night candlelight vigil and march on Sunday, Oct. 14, in front of the Memorial Tower. The vigil will begin at 6 p.m., followed by a one-mile march around campus at 7 p.m.
In its 26th year, the annual Take Back the Night event highlights the struggles and obstacles the Greater Baton Rouge community has faced in protecting the women, children and families in this area. This is the fifth year that the event will be held on LSU’s campus at the Memorial Tower.
“Take Back the Night is an important event because it not only honors and remembers those who have lost their lives to domestic and/or sexual violence,” said Summer Steib, director of the LSU Women’s Center, “but it serves as a call to action for our community to raise awareness about these forms of violence and it further sends a message to perpetrators that domestic and sexual violence are not tolerated in our community.”
Domestic and sexual violence are major public health problems in the United States, and the Greater Baton Rouge community is no exception. National statistics indicate that 1-in-4 women will experience intimate partner violence and 1-in-5 women will experience a completed or attempted rape in her lifetime. While these numbers stand alone as reason to take action, what these numbers don’t reflect are the countless children and families that are affected by violence against women.
“One of the most unique and inspiring parts of Take Back the Night is when we invite survivors to share their stories with the community,” said Steib. “Through courageously sharing what they have overcome, these survivors give a face and voice to those who are often silenced.”
The LSU Women's Center provides support, referral and information to students, faculty and staff on issues and concerns related to women. The Women's Center also promotes the advancement of women's issues and well-being through its services, educational programs and advocacy efforts.
For more information on the Take Back the Night event, please contact Steib at email@example.com or Kathy Saichuk, coordinator in the LSU Office of Health Promotion, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Women's Center website at www.lsu.edu/wc.