By Amanda Eagle
KU’s Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance (FMLA) club is scheduled to hold “Take Back the Night” on Thursday, April 26, to raise awareness and support victims of sexual assault.
According to the KU Women’s Center, “Take Back the Night” is an event held by FMLA where survivors of rape, sexualassault, domestic violence, and sexual abuse share stories of their experiences.
The event, which will include performances, poetry, a silent vigil, and a march, starts at 7 p.m. Thursday in the MSU multipurpose room. A candlelight vigil and march will follow.
“We need to educate people not to rape, particularly men, because according to statistics females are at a higher risk to be raped by men than the other way around,” said KU junior Michaela Yurchak, who serves as FMLA’s event coordinator.
According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, or RAINN, every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted. The group states that 8 percent of sexual assaults occur on school property.
“Being a survivor of sexual assault, I never really feel safe walking anywhere,” Yurchak said. “I think the campus has a lot of work to do to update security measures against sexual assaults because we get KUalerts almost every week about a new sexual assault on campus. That should not happen.”
Other students felt differently about campus safety.
“I do feel safe on campus,” said junior Emily Randall. “The many blue light buttons around campus to call security make it so I can feel safe.”
In a year when the #MeToo movement has gained a great deal of attention, Yurchak said KU’s FMLA club is not doing anything additional in light of that movement.
“FMLA hasn’t done anything different with that movement – we just continue to support survivors in their journey to overcome their assault/abuse,” said Yurchak. She said the club does have discussions about the #MeToo Movement during their Tuesday meetings.
Yurchak stated that while the movement is amazing, it can also be very triggering for survivors.
“There is a balance we try to keep when we advocate and hold events,” she said, adding that FMLA promotes the Women’s Center so students know about the services they offer.
“Take Back the Night” is one of the last events FMLA will be holding for the semester.