Take back the night, take back your life


University of Kentucky student Shannon Frazer, pictured in the Kernel office on 10/14/09. Photo by Ed Matthews

Column by Shannon Frazer. Email [email protected].

Whoever said that words have no power was mistaken. The proof? Take Back the Night 2011.

I sat on the edge of my seat last Wednesday evening, digesting the testimonial words I was hearing, the words of brave women and men who had experienced some rough times. I could only wonder why.

Why do people commit such atrocities? Why are men and women who fall victim to attack often judged for what happened to them, even if they had no control over the situation? And why do events like this, designed to bring awareness and speak out against domestic violence and abuse, have to take place before community members do anything about it?

Take Back the Night 2011 was a success, but not because of any one thing that occurred at the event. In my book, the reason Take Back the Night can be called a success is by the sheer fact that it happened.

We need to realize that domestic violence and abuse is a prominent issue in today’s society. As troubling as it is, more need to know about it.

More people need to know that one in three college students are victims of power-based personal violence. They need to know that college-age people — specifically, the 18 to 24 age group — experience the highest rate of stalking. And more people need to know practical ways to recognize, intervene and prevent violence.

Edgar Allen Poe got it right when he said, “Words have no power to impress in the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.”

Violence and abuse is a reality, and events like Take Back the Night enable people with ties to it to express how their realities have been affected by and because of it. These events help people to find community in the midst of tragedy, and to raise awareness among others who have faced or may face a similar fate.

Speak out. Use your words, for you may just save someone’s life, and THAT is perhaps the most powerful thing of all.

For more information:

Violence Intervention & Prevention Center:http://www.uky.edu/StudentAffairs/VIPCenter/

Lower Level of Frazee Hall


Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center: http://www.bluegrassrapecrisis.org/


Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program: http://www.beyondtheviolence.org/