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Take Back the Night Highlights Prevention of Sexual Assault

Take Back the Night Highlights Prevention of Sexual Assault

Posted: April 10, 2015

Buffalo State is sponsoring an evening of poetry readings, dance performances, skits, and speakers during “Take Back the Night: The Different Faces of Sexual Assault” on Wednesday, April 15, at 7:00 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center at Rockwell Hall. It is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Organized and sponsored by Weigel Health Promotions, Take Back the Night is co-sponsored by the Equity and Campus Diversity Office, the Student Life Office, the Counseling Center, and United Students Government.

Take Back the Night, which Buffalo State has hosted since 1980, coincides with April’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

“It is meant to empower individuals who have experienced assault, provide guidance to those who may face dangerous situations in the future, and encourage bystanders to change the culture and conversations about sexual assault,” said Paula Madrigal, wellness and prevention coordinator for Weigel Health Center.

This year the college is including outside speakers for Take Back the Night. Stacey Branchin, founder of the organization It Happened to Alexa, will share the story of her daughter who was raped her freshman year at Boston University. Branchin and her husband established the organization as a way to offset the costs for families traveling to support their child during a criminal trial as they did.

Also, Darnell Barton, the Buffalo bus driver who prevented a woman from leaping from the Scajaquada Expressway overpass in October 2013, will present nine “UPstander” awards to Buffalo State students, faculty, and staff on behalf of the college’s Counseling Center.

Events bookending Take Back the Night include:

  • “Painting the Campus Teal,” April 8–16 in which students hang teal ribbons on trees and hold chalking, poster, and resident hall painting contests using the color that symbolizes Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Rockwell Hall also will be illuminated in teal.
  • Healthy relationships workshop on Monday, April 13, at 2:00 p.m. in Classroom Building B106.
  • Sexual assault presentation by Holly Franz of Crisis Services Tuesday, April 14, at 2:00 p.m. in Technology Building 358. She will focus on the healthcare needs, emotional support, and evidence collection required in the first moments and days after a sexual assault.
  • Substance abuse discussion in two parts on Tuesday, April 14, at 12:15 p.m. in Bulger Communication Center East and Tuesday, April 21, at 3:00 p.m. in Ketchum Hall 111.
  • QPR suicide prevention training on Wednesday, April 15, at 10:00 a.m. in Ketchum Hall 118.
  • Horizons therapy dogs workshop in two sessions on Monday, April 13, at 1:00 p.m. and Friday, April 17, at 10:00 a.m. in Ketchum Hall 118.
  • “Red Zone Workshop: Parties, Alcohol, Drugs, and Rape,” sponsored by the It Happened to Alexa coordinator on Thursday, April 23, at 4:00 p.m. in Ketchum Hall 200.

Also, Buffalo State and Crisis Services are forming a team for the 10th Annual Walk A Mile In her Shoes April 26, beginning and ending at Crisis Services, 2969 Main Street. All proceeds support the Crisis Services’ Advocate Program for survivors of rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, family violence, and elder abuse. The team is open to the entire Buffalo State community. Support or join the the SUNY Buffalo State Team.

“In addition to Take Back the Night itself, we wanted to provide events that highlight the layers that are part of sexual assault and violence,” Madrigal said. “So many times students come to campus thinking that sexual assault is a violent act that happens in a dark alley, when the reality is it’s usually committed by someone the student knows. And it isn’t always violent, though it can be.”

Take Back the Night is one of many opportunities to raise awareness about sexual assault and violence prevention. For more information, call (716) 878-4719.

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