Ball State Office of Victim Services, the Ball State Counseling Center, and Alpha Chi Omega collaborated to host Take Back the Night 2022 (TBTN) on the Ball State University Quad April 27 in honor of April being National Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
TBTN is an international march and rally that was started in the 1970s as a way of spreading awareness of sexual assault while providing survivors and advocates with a safe space to come together to support one another. With the exception of the past two years due to COVID-19, the event has been held every year since its conception on Ball State’s campus.
This year, TBTN was spearheaded by the Vice President of Philanthropy for Alpha Chi Omega Ayva Wiseman, and help with organization was provided by Justin Howard-Davidson, a staff psychologist at the Ball State Counseling Center and Anna McGee, a Victim Advocate from the Office of Victim Services.
“This event has been very eye opening and life changing for me personally to see how many people I can connect with on such a large basis over a topic that affects so many more people than you think it affects,” Wiseman said. “It’s just so amazing to be able to come from an organization where I can help millions of people by having one simple event on campus.”
The event consistented of a rally where sexual assault suvivors could speak or have a representative speak for them about their experiences. Following this, there was a silent march around the quad to demonstrate solidarity with victims of assault.
Sexual assault is very prevalent in the United States. According to the Rape, Abuse, & Incest Nation Network (RAINN), one American is assaulted every 68 seconds, and only 25 out of every 1,000 rapists will end up in prison.
“Because [assault] is common, I think it’s important to raise awareness that sexual assault happens more than we think, especially on a college campus, and to let survivors know that they are valid and we believe in them and we support them,” McGee said.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, do not hesitate to seek help. Administrative offices like the Counseling Center and the Office of Victim Services exist to provide mental, physical, emotional and legal help to Ball State students that have experienced things such as assault. You are not alone, and there is a community of people here to help you.
Contact Sarah Olsen with comments at email@example.com.