Take Back the Night Unites with Denim Day

By Olivia De Valk, The Pointer

On April 26, two events aimed at ending interpersonal violence and rape culture will coincide: Take Back the Night and Denim Day.

The event is being coordinated by the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Women’s Resources Center in conjunction with the Student Government Association and Promoting Awareness–Victim Empowerment.

The event will start outside of Old Main at 5 p.m.

Participants will march to the square in downtown Stevens Point and later to the Sundial on campus before moving into the Dreyfus University Center Encore room at around 7:30 p.m.

The points mentioned will feature speakers such as Representative Katrina Shankland, an outspoken advocate for the issues of interpersonal violence and rape culture. After the speakers present, participants in the march will be given a chance to have their stories heard.

At around 9 p.m. the event will be capped off with live music provided by local bands Funkyard Dealers, Easy on the Eyez and Soul Symmetry.

Lyn Ciurro, senior communicative sciences and disorders major and executive coordinator for the Women’s Resource Center, said this event is one of the biggest and hopefully will be the most well-attended Take Back the Night program yet.

“There’s been an increase and more visibility regarding incidents on campus,” Ciurro said.  “People on campus are more in the know, they’re more energized to do something to want to stop it. They’ll want to do something. They’ll want to make a change.”

Ciurro said by compounding Take Back the Night with Denim Day, students are given more opportunity to act. This is especially true for students who would normally only participate in Denim Day, who are now given the opportunity to act by attending Take Back the Night.

Alorah Mence, English and art major and concert coordinator for Take Back the Night, said, “I really want them to know that they’re not alone, that we recognize them. Everyone deserves to have a voice and no one should be ashamed of anything that ever happens to them.”

Take Back the Night is a foundation seeking to end sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual abuse and all other forms of sexual violence.

Denim Day, which is the event colliding with Take Back the Night, began in response to a single issue. Denim Day protests were originally triggered by an overturned rape conviction by the Italian Supreme Court in the 1990’s.

An 18-year old girl was raped by her 45-year old driving instructor. The justices felt that the girl must have helped her rapist remove her tight jeans, making her experience no longer rape but consensual sex.