Candlelight rekindles hope

The Women’s Resource Center is sponsoring the third annual Take Back the Night tonight. The event aims to end sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking, which confront women every day.

“I think that another underlying goal that’s achieved by Take Back the Night is just to rally people who have this as their common interest and who, in one way or another, are working to end that violence and say, ‘These are all of the people who are standing together,’ said Aimee Shattuck, coordinator of the Women’s Resource Center. “I feel like it is a pretty powerful affirmation and a fun way to celebrate that work.”

The first rally will start at 7:30 p.m. At 8:30 p.m., the Fat Ass Cheerleaders will lead a march through the Park Blocks. A candlelight vigil will be held at approximately 9 p.m., followed by several performances and informational appeals.

Entertainment will feature Evalyn Parry and Womb Dialectic in the Smith Memorial Student Union.

Between performances, presenters will explain two separate pieces of legislation that deal with the rights of sexual assault victims and the advocates who assist them.

Take Back the Night is a worldwide event that started in San Francisco around 1978 when more than 10,000 attendees marched through the city to show the link between pornography and violence against women. Since then, the event has pulled together those who wish to see sexual violence and harassment against women, children and men stopped.

“My perspective, personally, while this event is mainly focused on women feeling safe, there are many minority groups and others who don’t necessarily feel safe at night,” said Page Morrison, Women’s Resource Center intern and member of the organizing committee. “So I think the idea of Take Back the Night is one that a lot of people can relate to.”

With more than 200 people at last year’s event, organizers hope to double the turnout for 2003.

For more information, call 503-725-9255, or visit the center’s Web site at www.ess.pdx.edu/women. Call the center direct at 503-725-5672, or e-mail [email protected]