ODU Sponsors First Annual "Take Back the Night" Event

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2010-04-28

Event aimed at raising awareness about sexual violence

Columbus, OH - For the first time on Ohio Dominican University’s campus, the Office of Student Activities, Residence Life and the Wellness Center will sponsor the event, “Take Back the Night.” Take Back the Night is part of a national movement aimed at ending sexual violence by empowering victims to speak out.

The event will take place on Thursday, April 29 at 6:00 p.m. and will begin in the Bishop James A. Griffin Student Center, 1216 Sunbury Road.

“Since its founding, Ohio Dominican University has had as part of its mission the responsibility to create an awareness of and service to those who may be wounded by society,” said Jamie Caridi, Vice President for Student Development. “Today, we know that many in our community are the unfortunate victims of sexual violence and it is important that the University community show its solidarity with those women, men, and families affected by such incidents. Because of this, I am very proud of the efforts of Anne Lombardi, Associate Director of Counseling Services, and other professionals who have worked hard to plan the institutional activities.”

ODU will offer two Take Back the Night activities that evening including a “Clothesline Project” presentation followed by a campus-wide march.

  • The Clothesline Project is a visual display that bears witness to violence against women. During the public display, a clothesline is hung with shirts. Each shirt is decorated to represent a particular woman's experience, by the survivor herself or by someone who cares for her.

    The Clothesline Project helps with the healing process for people who have lost a loved one or are rare survivors of this violence. The Clothesline Project educates, documents, and raises society's awareness of the extent of the problem of violence against women. The clothes will be displayed in the meditation space of the student center. 
  • During the campus-wide march, there will be several stops along the path where readers will share personal stories which will be submitted during the month of April. Stories are being submitted through the “Book of Hope,” a website established by ODU’s Wellness Center for members of the ODU community to anonymously submit their stories of personal violence. The Book is a collection of personal stories to empower people to speak out against violence, and is for both victims and supporters.

ODU Take Back the Night activities are presented in collaboration with the Columbus Coalition Against Family Violence (CCAFV). Ohio Dominican is a strategic partner of CCAFV’s “It’s Abuse Campaign.” The awareness campaign is designed to educate college students about the issue of relationship abuse. ODU’s Anne Lombardi and ODU Residence Life Director Kerry Fleming are co-chairs for the university’s “It’s Abuse” campaign.