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Students brought the Take Back the Night movement to campus

Women gather to march in "Take Back the Night," a protest against male-patterned violence against women on Thursday night.
Women gather to march in "Take Back the Night," a protest against male-patterned violence against women on Thursday night.

The event was part of a nationwide movement called Take Back the Night, where people take a stand against violence against women. Senior Lisa Dzera was one of the students who organized the event.

“Groups of women began the Take Back the Night marches in the early 70s and made a significant impact,” Dzera said, “However, it is obvious that there is still so much to be done.”

Juniors Catherine Mulqueen and Savannah Peters brought the Take Back the Night movement to UNC’s campus. Peters said she helped organize the march because the issue of sexual violence is so prevalent.

“We are excited to bring back this powerful movement to UNC’s campus, where the threat of male-pattern sexual violence affects us every day, throughout our lives and at even higher rates on college campuses,” she said.

Peters said the march is a way to raise awareness about sexual violence.

“We will not stand for the street harassment, for having to constantly plan our lives around staying safe, for the victim blaming, for the inability to really trust male acquaintances, friends and partners, and for the lack of action against what is a public health epidemic affecting over half of the U.S. population at unacceptable rates,” Peters said.

Many of the participants were female students, like first-year Addison Troutman, who said the event brings people together to fight for a cause.

“It’s about women coming together and finally saying no and saying the safety we deserve and how we’re tired of the inequality,” Troutman said.

First-year Ruthie Allen said she decided to come because the march is relevant to life here at UNC.

“I’m here because sexual assault and male-pattern violence on this campus are serious problems and the University doesn’t respond the way they should,” she said.

Anna Kelly, another first-year participant, said the issue of gender-based violence is not isolated at UNC.

“Nationally, (Take Back the Night) means women joining together and gendering sexual assault,” she said.

The students walked in a group through campus and Franklin Street demanding a change in the way society views sexual violence.

“Living in a society where there is a constant threat of sexual violence is not natural and it is not okay,” Mulqueen said.

She said sexual violence and harassment, as well as the fear that goes along with those, goes beyond this march.

“We need to take back more than the night,” she said. “We need to take back dinner dates, bars, parties, fraternities, the streets, our bodies and our lives.”

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