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A Light in the Dark

Contributor

Published: Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Updated: Sunday, December 8, 2013 13:12

A light in the dark

Photo by J.Christoffersen/ The Gateway

Once a year, the University of Nebraska at Omaha Women’s Resource Center hosts an event called “Take Back the Night,” in hopes to raise awareness about sexual abuse in the community.

“We are trying to raise awareness about sexual abuse victims, and support their families and friends, just let them know that they’re not alone,” said Chelsea Kenton, assistant director of Women’s Resource Center.

Kenton described the UNO Women’s Resource Center as connecting people to certain services and resources available at UNO and the surrounding community. By sponsoring “Take Back the Night,” Kenton hopes people will become more aware of what is available, and of the different ways they can get involved, even if they aren’t a victim.

“There are still ways they can impact their community and people and their lives,” Kenton said.

The “Take Back the Night” rally included speakers sharing their stories of sexual abuse, and speakers from organizations looking to inform attendants of how they can receive help.

One of the speakers recounting her story was April Boatright, a woman whose friend had been raped and murdered. She came to inform people not only of her story, but of the help available.

“I am hoping that they would take away the fact that they don’t have to be quiet and there is a program in Omaha that will help them, that will take care of them medically and emotionally and hook them up with resources in the community,” Boatright said.

Along with Kenton, April Corbet, president of the Women’s Resource Center, attended the rally; hoping people would gain a new purpose and new knowledge from the “Take Back the Night” event.

“One in three women who are murdered by homicide are killed by their husbands or a male family member, and one in five women have been sexually assaulted in their life,” Corbet said.

At the end of the rally, a candlelight vigil is held to mourn people who have gone through something traumatic, like sexual assault. Corbet hopes this rally will bring more attention to the topic of sexual assault and show people that something needs to be done.

“The speaker Anne Boatright was talking about how her friend was raped and murdered, and her friend would be one of the people mourned in this event.”

This vigil is not only a time for mourning and remembrance, but as Corbet explains, “It is also hope for the future, that something good will come out of events like these, and that something good will come out of other people listening and understanding that there is something out there to do.”

 

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