By: Cassie Glancy
Victims? No more. Sexual assault and domestic violence survivors told their stories to hundreds at Take Back the Night, presented by PEACC, last Tuesday.
“Ya no mas,” meaning “no more,” was heard across campus as the crowd united to help end these crimes. Among the supporters were Congressman John Yarmuth and keynote speaker, Susan Burke, a lawyer who is leading a series of lawsuits designed to help change the way sexual assault is dealt with in the military.
“People on the ground are the people that make the real difference,” said Yarmuth. “It is a lot about peer pressure and it is a lot about education and the federal government cannot do that. We can deal with the impact of sexual abuse, but we cannot do much to stop it. That is why it is important for me to come and support everyone here.”
Many people cried and held each other during a candlelight vigil that was held for those whose lives were affected by abuse. As students and people of the Louisville community told their stories, the crowd grew silent.
Burke, who is featured in the academy nominated film “The Invisible War”, is prompting everyone to help put an end to sexual violence crimes. She suggested that students should call Senator Mitch McConnell and tell him to pass the reform legislation.
“It is important for everyone, especially students as they are beginning their lives and pursuing their own studies, to realize that we are all citizens and we all have a duty to speak up and to get involved,” said Burke.
The event ended with a march around campus. The participants chanted songs, in multiple languages, about ending power based crimes. Take Back the Night is not only an event that spreads awareness of abuse, but empowers survivors that were once victims.