By: CHRISTINE AIKEN
One in three women and one in six men worldwide experience some sort of sexual violence in their lifetime, according to ywcain.org.
Since the 1970s in the United States, Take Back The Night has actively sought to eliminate sexual and domestic violence in all forms. This year, Elkhart will join the campaign with its very first Take Back the Night march at 6 p.m. April 24.
While meeting with a client at a local non-profit, Katie Carrico Craft was inspired to organize the event in an effort to take action.
“Events like these are powerful, moving and supportive to the survivors and the community,” she said, “It is an opportunity to speak out and, in some cases, to heal.”
Craft said she felt a strong electricity in the crowd when she participated in a similar march at IU South Bend. So she sought out the knowledge of Dr. April Lidinsky and ended up partnering with her in organizing the event.
“I didn’t know where to begin so I consulted one of the most involved, inspiring, intelligent leaders I know,” Craft said of Lidinsky.
It wasn’t long before they were able to work together to set up the event and get things moving.
The march will begin at the IU South Bend Elkhart Center. Opening speakers will start things off, followed by the march itself, which will proceed down Franklin Avenue to High Street, over to 2nd Street, and then back down to Franklin Avenue, where the march will conclude. IU South Bend offered to open classroom #134 if anyone would like the opportunity to speak.
YWCA staff will be available to provide resources for their services, which include legal advocacy for victims and counseling services. All services are free and confidential. These are valuable resources for anyone who has been a victim of domestic or sexual abuse. If you are not a victim and simply want to help, you can attend the march to show your support or even donate to the YWCA, which helps nearly 1,600 women and children each year in the area.
IU South Bend students are encouraged to get involved and be part of this historic event. Men and women in the community must stand in solidarity to demonstrate a commitment to prevent this type of violence from happening. Awareness is key to prevention.