Expanding the Meaning of ‘take back the night’

Safer on the Streets

The ‘take back the night’ rallying cry began because the streets didn’t feel safe to walk in, at night. People wanted to be able to be out, in their cities, without fearing for their very lives. It has expanded in some beautiful ways, as people take the term to mean freedom from fear in the night, regardless of whether it is indoors in the home, or out on the streets.

Safer from Sexual Violence

Women report three times higher fear than men because of the lived experience of physical and sexual violence in women[1].  According to the bawar.com website: 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men will be a victim of sexual assault in their lifetime; college age women are 4 times more likely to be sexually assaulted;  more statistics are on their website at www.baywar.org.

…and Ending Domestic Violence at Home

Have you noticed how ‘take back the night’ is evolving, to one surrounding any sort of violence? One CampusMovieFest student film, “There is No Such Thing as a Love Tap” highlights the fact of the slogan now being used in a campaign to end domestic violence.

Tracing the Origins of Take Back The Night

The term ‘take back the night’ was heard as a rallying cry as far back as 1975, when Philadelphia’s streets were growing unsafe, and a young woman, a  microbiologist,  was the victim of a senselessly random stabbing murder, prompting many to march and yes, to  ‘take back the night.’

[1] Western Criminology Review 4(3), 203 – 214 (2003) 

Categories Justice Work, Peacemaking | Tags: , | Posted on May 7, 2010

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