St. Cloud’s Take Back The Night Rally Draws Attention to Domestic Violence [GALLERY]
ST. CLOUD -- Over 100 people attended the annual Central Minnesota Take Back the Night Rally at Lake George Thursday.
The event featured information booths, activities, music and several other things for family and survivors, including a march through downtown.
The St. Cloud area Clothesline Project was also on display during the rally, the project is a representation of the men, women and children murdered last year in Minnesota as a result of domestic violence.
Lee LaDue is the Gender Violence Prevention Program Coordinator at St. Cloud State University. She says, the rally's been around a long time, and its message is clear.
"This is close to 30 years that St. Cloud has been doing this. The Take Back the Night Rally and March is about ending violence against women, ending sexual violence, stalking, against everyone."
Cydi Yang, a Spoken Word Artist who performed at the rally says she does several events like this, to help give women a voice.
"Through time, a lot of women have been oppressed. A lot of women have not been able to say how they feel whether it's about being sexually harassed or just how they want to go about their life and I want to see things change."
Amy is a Direct Services Provider, and a survivor of sexual violence, she says an event like Take Back the Night really shows victims they're not alone.
"It really highlights that you're not alone, which is a really common feeling to have after you've been assaulted. It's that moment of community and sisterhood and a lot of strength [drawn] from other women."
She says, to help end the problems of domestic violence, the discussion has to be longer than just one night.
"This should be a daily conversation that you have with friends, family and your children. These are the next generation of offenders, victims - hopefully neither - we can raise them to respect each other and own their bodies and their space."
The National Network to End Domestic Violence says an average of 1 in 3 women have experienced rape, physical violence or stalking in their lifetime. About 7-million women are raped or physically assaulted by a current or former partner every year.
Take Back the Night is designed to highlight the fact that sexual and domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of age, religion, gender or economic status.