Dillard Fellows “Take Back The Night”
One out of every three women worldwide has been beaten, forced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime by a partner, relative, friend, stranger, employer, and/or colleague, says a World Bank report.
What can we do to end the epidemic of violence against women worldwide? One effort comes from Dillard University’s Melton Foundation (DUMF) team.
On October 23, 2013, Dillard University Melton Foundation and the Dillard University Department of Psychology joined Tulane University and Loyola University of New Orleans to host the annual march to stop violence against women: Take Back the Night. Chanting “Shattering the Silence and Stopping the Violence”, DUMF took to the streets of New Orleans to call attention to violence plaguing college campus, local neighborhoods, and communities throughout the world.
In the United States, October is recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month and internationally, November 25 is designated as International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Take Back The Night is is an internationally held march and rally intended as a protest and direct action against rape and other forms of sexual violence. Take Back The Night rallies are hosted around the world usually in October and November.
The DUMF Take Back The Night event began at 7pm at the Loyola University with a candle light march to the Tulane University ballroom, where stories of trauma and survival were shared.
Melton Fellow Merrliyn Akpapuna, who particpated in the event, says, “A lot of times, in several Melton meetings, we have talked about how being a global citizen does not only include talking about global issues, but also taking action. Taking a stand, holding my candle up, and chanting, as I marched the streets of New Orleans, in order to stop sexual and domestic violence, made me feel like a true global citizen. It helped me express my concern for these wrongdoings. I listened to a lot of people tell their stories, about what happened to them, for the first time. Knowing that the Dillard University Melton Foundation Fellows helped to create the platform for the beginning of healing of these survivors felt amazing. We intend to engage in a lot more efforts like this.”
From raising their candles and voices in this Take Back The Night event, DUMF Fellows will be doing much more to help end the global epidemic of violence against women.