VIP event expands- Take Back the Night will include 3 start locations



By Genevieve Adams

Students will join forces with the community this weekend to shine a light on a topic that may be uncomfortable for some to face.

The Violence Intervention and Prevention Center is sponsoring Take Back the Night on Wednesday to take a stand on the issue of violence against women.

Beginning at 7 p.m. from three different locations, VIP encourages members of the community and students to come out and march for change and policy progress concerning violence against women. Event coordinator Sally Evans said Take Back the Night will hopefully inspire change among society.

“We want to see continued policy change and show people this important issue in a new way,” Evans said. “We do this rally and march to literally shed light on the darkness. Usually the night is associated with darkness, being alone and silence, and statistically is the time when most violence occurs, so to show people they are not alone and there are people standing together and rallying for change is very powerful.”

Unlike last year, when the march included mainly just UK students, there will be three different locations where the march will begin so that the community, high school students and other surrounding universities can participate.

Evans said the event is not only a way to raise awareness but to advertise prevention. Booths with information about preventing violence and staying safe, especially in a campus atmosphere, will be available at the Courthouse Plaza after the march.

Amber Lambert, one of the main coordinators for the event, is an avid advocate for the prevention of violence and believes students should come out because so much more can be accomplished in numbers. When people look around and see how many people want to be involved and help the cause, it’s comforting and empowering, she said.

“We can accomplish so much more collectively than individually,” Lambert said. “How someone coming out of a bad situation, such as dating violence or sexual abuse, can see her support in numbers and know that they are not alone in this battle for a more secure and just life.”

Another part of the Courthouse activities will be the Bluegrass National Organization of Women poem contest reading, organized by Brittany Moore. Chosen from many poems entered by students from several high schools in the area, Breanna White’s poem “Silent Voice” showed the judges what it meant to be affected by violence yet not have the voice to do anything about it. To conclude the night, there will be a candlelight vigil to remember the commitment to the cause.

Kristen Lambert, an event organizer, is participating in the march for her fifth time. She said hearing fellow students tell stories of real experiences is what makes Take Back the Night so special to her.

“Hearing about their own personal experience, it becomes more real to them and me,”

Lambert said. “I go to school with these people, I know these people. To see what really is going on and a hopeful side to it, seeing the number or people that come out and support, seeing everything that the community and UK is doing to prevent this problem.”

Take Back the Night takes place Wednesday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The starting points for the march are Patterson Office Tower, Triangle Park and 3rd Street Coffee at Limestone and 3rd Street. All groups will meet at the Courthouse Plaza and proceed from there.

For more information contact the VIP Center at 859-257-3564