UWF encourages students to Take Back the Night at annual event this Thursday

By Sydney O’Gwynn

Staff Writer

 At last year’s Take Back the Night, members of Alpha Gamma Delta joined hands around the memorial for Susan Leigh Morris. Morris was a student at UWF and a sister of Alpha Gamma Delta when she was found slain on campus with signs of a sexual assault. Photo courtesy of UWF’s Take Back the Night 2015 Facebook page.

At last year’s Take Back the Night, members of Alpha Gamma Delta joined hands around the memorial for Susan Leigh Morris.
Morris was a student at UWF and a sister of Alpha Gamma Delta when she was found slain on campus with signs of a sexual assault.
Photo courtesy of UWF’s Take Back the Night 2015 Facebook page.

According to the Take Back the Night Foundation, one out of every three women and one out of every six men experience some sort of sexual violence every year. In addition, less than 50 percent report these crimes. The University of West Florida’s Wellness Center wants UWF students to change that.

The 17th annual Take Back the Night event, hosted by the Wellness Center, will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 7, in the Commons Auditorium on campus. The event features various informational booths, guest speakers and tributes to survivors of sexual assault.

The Take Back the Night Foundation started over half a century ago in Europe, and aims to forge relationships and create a feeling of safety by coming together with the community and hosting events. Its mission statement, according to its website, is to “end sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual abuse and all other forms of sexual violence.”

The Wellness Center holds two events regarding sexual assault awareness, one in the fall called Rock Out the Red Zone, and one in the spring, which is Take Back the Night.

In addition to holding the two outreach events, the Wellness Center also encourages students to take the pledge to end sexual assault on the It’s On Us website. It’s On Us is a website where anyone can take a pledge to “recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault, to identify situations in which sexual assault may occur, to intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given, [and] to create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.”

For more information about Take Back the Night, It’s On Us or other ways you can get involved in stopping sexual assault, please contact the Wellness Center at 850-473-7112 or visit the website. If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, please contact Counseling and Psychological Services at 850-474-2420 or visit the website.