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Posted on Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 5:57 a.m.

U-M, EMU to 'Take Back the Night' with rallies against sexual assault

By Danny Shaw


"Take Back the Night" marchers begin their route around the University of Michigan campus and downtown. file photo

The University of Michigan Diag will be the starting point for tonight's "Take Back the Night" rally and march, an annual event focused on raising awareness about sexual assault and supporting its victims.

The rally will begin at 7:30 p.m. on the Diag, followed by the march through the U-M campus and the streets of Ann Arbor.

Marchers traditionally carry signs and banners that dispel sexual assault and proclaim criminals don't own the night.

This year marks 34 years of survivors, students and community members uniting to help spread awareness of sexual violence, according to a news release. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Several speakers and performances are scheduled for the rally. The keynote speaker will be Marygrove College professor of social work Kalimah Johnson, founder of the Sexual Assault Services for Holistic Healing and Awareness Center in Detroit.

The Master of Ceremonies for the event will be Allyson Martinek from the 96.3 WDVD talk show, "Blaine and Allyson in the Morning." There also will be a dance performance by the U-M dance group Cadence and a musical performance by I-Khonz, a metro-Detroit based band.

Eastern Michigan University's Women's Resource Center also is hosting its 12th annual "Take Back the Night" rally and march on Monday.

The rally scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom, and the march will begin immediately after.

"Taking part in the 'Take Back the Night' march/rally is an opportunity for the community to help victims of sexual assault shatter the silence, find their voice and let it be heard," stated a news release. "The WRC encourages the entire community to come out and help raise awareness about the dangers of sexual assault."


Rebecca Dunkle

Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 12:58 a.m.

And frankly, having participated in the March many times over the years, there is power knowing that this one night a year you are walking through the downtown streets safely, not worrying whether you might be in danger. Wish that safe feeling lasted more than one night.

free form

Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 4:43 p.m.

Of course, a march of this kind is not going to stop sexual assults. That is not the intention nor is that even a possibility. I think the march is meant to rally victims and loved ones of victims. It's a chance for them to support one another and overcome the horrible things that they've lived through. Just read the posts above and it's easy to see why victims of sexual violence would feel powerless and shamed. Take Back the Night is an important event that helps many victims heal and overcome their fears. It does not justify the sarcasm and derision of the people here.


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 11:38 a.m.

Looks like 34 years of marches has amounted to....not much. In the last 34 years, we have been hit by Coral Watts, Erwin Mitchell, and other serial rapists/killers. It seems like every week I read about a woman being victiminzed. It's not just violence against women either. I hear and read so many stories about unarmed and oblivious people getting beaten, robbed, raped, shot, etc. Even people in large groups being attacked for no apparent reason. Forget the march. Become aware of your surroundings. Don't put yourself in stupid situations (i.e. walking around at 3am with your i-pod blasting). If you are confident in yourself, protect yourself with a weapon. And dont beleive the malareky about being disarmed - almost all pistols can shoot through purses, coats, and pockets, and the crims willl never see it or know what hit them. I am advocating violence...against violent criminals that attack innocent people. Otherwise, lay down and be sheep.


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 1:51 p.m.

If you are fine with being a victim because you are too weak to take precautions to defend yourself, that's no skin off my back. If your marches make you feel better, that's fine, but realize this - criminals do not care and are not affected in the slightest. Get real.


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 11:26 a.m.

I'm sure all the thug rapers in the area are shuddering in fear at these women and will reflect on their past bad sexual aggresive behavior and learn from this movement that their actions are hurtful. In addition I think men will think twice now about using forced sex to fulfill their lustful or power hungry thoughts. Thank you ladies!


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 5:17 p.m.

I remember one time a young woman was assaulted while she returned home after attending a similar rally. Apparently the rally wasn't as successful as not being out alone after dark would have been. It wasn't here in A2, but I'm sure if you Google around enough, you'll find it.


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 12:27 p.m.

Ooops sorry there my mistake.I apologize.I screwed up.The word " Thug " threw me off.I'll try to read things more carefully next time. This is when I need a edit/delete option


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 12:11 p.m.

Thanks for the positive feedback tdw, together we can change the world for the better with our blogs. Oh heads up you keep saying "rapper" which is someone who is a musician like Eminem. Remember I'm taking about a raper, someone who sexually assaults.


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 11:51 a.m. If it were me, which of course you are not,I wouldn't remove mohomed's comments.I think it shows some skewed attidudes


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 11:48 a.m.

I never thought I'd be making a comment on this subject.But it's not limited to " thug rappers " they annoy me to no ends but these sexual predators run the entire gamment.Remember the creep from last year ? his description is that of a white " all American kid "( remember John Norman Collins ? ) And just for your information many of the " thug rappers " will shank sex offenders in prison