Sexual and Domestic Violence Awareness Week, Oct. 4-8, will include the annual Take Back the Night rally on Tuesday, Oct. 5, in Newcomer 19. The event is organized by Goshen Student Women’s Association, a student led group open to all women on campus.

Take Back the Night is an essential part of Sexual and Domestic Violence Awareness week, said Ingrid Derstine, a senior on the GSWA leadership team. “Domestic and sexual violence is easily hidden, so it is hard to be aware and active in fighting it. For Goshen College, Take Back the Night provides a safe place for students to reflect on and learn about the struggles that many people experience.”

The first part of the rally is open to both males and females. Students will gather to hear Heather Goertzen, new resident director for Kratz/Miller/Yoder dorms, share stories and experiences from her time overseas. Later, men and women will separate--with the men staying to discuss the male perspective and involvement in sexual and domestic abuse and the women "taking back the night" by singing and marching through campus and community streets.

By marching, “we hope to reinforce our right to be safe in our communities after dark,” said Derstine.  After the march, both men and women will gather for a discussion led by Char Hochstetler, director of counseling, Keith Graber Miller, professor of Bible, religion and philosophy, David Lind, assistant professor of sociology and Beth Martin Birky, professor of English.

In addition to Take Back the Night, PAX club will host a candlelight vigil on Thursday evening after night class. Check the Goshen College Communicator for more information.