e-Newsletter of Moravian College and Moravian Theological Seminary | May 7, 2013 Twitter Facebook

Take Back the Night

Taking action against violence in the community

Posters and signs were part of the march and rally raising awareness about domestic violence.

Photo by Alex Sestok '16

Members of the Bethlehem community joined students, faculty and staff to march the Moravian Mile from the Priscilla Payne Hurd campus to Main Street campus on April 15 to show their support against violence in the community.

“Take Back the Night was a march and rally to raise awareness about domestic violence. Moravian College has expanded on this idea to encompass all forms of violence, such as racial violence and LGBT community violence,” says Melissa Walters ’14, one of the organizers.

The activism began when participants made posters and signs the previous Friday. Moravian students were encouraged to anonymously share their stories of violence by filling out post-secret cards, which were available all week in the Haupert Union Building and in the psychology department.

“For the march, students and community members carried signs protesting violence, especially relationship violence and rape. This year, we had student performers, speakers and survivors of sexual assault share their stories at the rally,” says Walters.

The march began at the HILL at 6:30 p.m., and ended at Johnston Hall on Main Campus, where the rally was held.

“The purpose of the rally was to encourage survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault to break their silence and share their stories. The rally provided a safe and supporting environment for people who have experienced violence of any kind,” says Walters.

At the end of the rally, a candlelight vigil was held to commemorate victims who lost their lives to any type of violence, specifically domestic violence.

“The Beginning Over Foundation generously donated their Silent Figures for the event, which were red cutouts of victims of abuse. On each cutout, there was a plaque that told the story of each victim. We brought those figures with us to the vigil,” says Walters.

Take Back the Night was supported by multiple campus clubs and organizations and the overall community. The event will continue to expand each year as long as people step up and take action against any sort of violence they or a loved one may have experienced.

“The point of Take Back the Night was to open people's eyes to the fact that violence is real and affects all of us. One in three women will experience an unwanted sexual encounter in her lifetime. Take Back the Night offered the community an opportunity to come together and find strength in saying the violence needs to end,” Walters adds.