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Students to March and Rally to Raise Awareness and Prevent Violence

Bethlehem, Pa., April 24, 2006— Moravian College will be the site of a “Take Back the Night” March and Rally, sponsored by the Moravian College Office of Student Life and Women’s Studies Department, on Wednesday, April 26, at 8 p.m. The march will begin at the Benigna statue on the Priscilla Payne Hurd Campus. Marchers will travel up Main Street to the College’s Main Street Campus, where the rally will commence at 9 p.m. at the Peace Pole next to Reeves Library.

The program 's focus is to raise public awareness about violence while empowering participants to take action against this serious crime. The rally will serve as a forum for Dr. Stacey Zaremba’s Introduction to Women’s Studies class to publicize violence statistics. A candlelight vigil and music by the Julie Schreiber Band, are planned to commemorate the memory of victims of violence and abuse. The program will include testimony by several speakers who will talk about the traumatic effects of violence on their lives.

Speaker Heidi Markow has dedicated her life to raise awareness about issues of bullying, domestic violence, and homicide since her sister was killed by her estranged husband last year. Markow is involved with legislation to address her cause, as well as working to create the Beginning Over Foundation , a non-profit organization designed to the public about intimate partner violence, and how domestic abuse starts and can end tragically. Domestic violence and rape victim, Rachael Tima, will speak about her experiences for the first time during the program. Tima is currently a medical student in Manhattan, but her first child was born as a result of a violent stranger rape. They will be joined by Christina, an incest victim whose father is now imprisoned for his crime.

Also scheduled to speak is Marci Ronald, supervisor of the Outreach and Prevention Education department at the Crime Victims Council of the Lehigh Valley. The council’s Outreach Team talks to 30,000 people in the Lehigh Valley each year about issues surrounding victims and the services available to them. Ronald is a Sexual Assault Counselor, a Crisis Response Team member through the National Organization of Victim Assistance, a Victim Offender Mediator, and a certified trainer for the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program.

T-shirts will be for sale and a raffle for prizes donated by local businesses and individuals will be held during the event . All proceeds raised from these undertakings will be donated to the Crime Victims Council of the Lehigh Valley to further its mission of extending advocacy, support, counseling, and other services to victims of all crimes.

Take Back the Night is an international effort with roots in the 1970s. Women around the world began marches with names like “Take Back the Night” and “Reclaim the Night” to protest excessive violence against women on public streets after dark. The first march in the United States occurred in 1978 in San Francisco. Take Back the Night marches have since intensified efforts to denounce violence against all people—men, women, and children. Moravian College’s Take Back the Night programs are dedicated to fighting violence against all people.

In the case of inclement weather, the rally will be moved to Prosser Auditorium in the Haupert Union Building, located at the corner of Locust and Monocacy Streets in Bethlehem.

For more information, contact: Dr. Stacey Zaremba (Women’s Studies), (610) 861-1563 or Laura Gordon (Office of Student Life), (610) 861-1505.