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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Take Back the Night at UMass Boston

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The Clothesline Project was founded in Cape Cod in 1990. Women involved in the project publicly display t-shirts explaining how violence against women has affected them.

On Wednesday April 10, UMass Boston hosted its 9th annual Take Back the Night. This event was sponsored by the University Health Services Counseling Center, the Women’s Center, the Graduate Student Assembly, and the Undergraduate Student Government.

The Take Back the Night Foundation serves to create safe communities and respectful relationships through awareness events that are similar to the one held at the UMB. “We seek to end sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual abuse, and all other forms of sexual violence,” an anonymous speaker said on behalf of the foundation.

From noon until 6 p.m., students came up to the Ryan Lounge on the third floor of McCormack Hall to listen to presentations by a variety of organizations and guest speakers. Guest speaker Trisha Mah represented the Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence (ATASK), an organization seeking to provide vital information and outreach resources to women in Asian immigrant communities who may be in abusive relationships.

“I’ve always been interested in social justice work in my community, and this stuff really happens everywhere regardless of economic status,” Trisha said as she discussed her work.

The Denim Day Campaign was a highlight during the ATASK presentation. Denim Day was developed in response to the Italian Supreme Court’s 1999 dismissal of a sexual assault case in which the court ruled that it is impossible to rape women in tight jeans. This decision caused massive protest around the world.

Denim Day 2013 will be held on April 24. In Boston, volunteers from the Youth Empowerment Project have collected hundreds of pairs of jeans to cut denim squares and paint messages on them. Supporters of this cause may wear these denim patches to promote awareness of sexual assault.

A representative from The Network/La Red, a survivor-led organization dedicated to ending partner abuse, delivered a presentation concerning intimate partner violence in the LGBT community. The entire room full of students participated in a discussion surrounding perceptions of gender roles and identities.

Domestic Violence Ended (DOVE Inc.), an organization located in Quincy, MA, also delivered a presentation focused on providing educational and outreach resources for those that may be affected by domestic violence. Students at DOVE Inc.’s presentation talked about rape culture, particularly the ways in which the media tend to normalize, excuse, or even promote rape.

The first Take Back the Night event was held in 1975 in response to the murder of an innocent woman walking alone near her house in Philadelphia, PA. Over the years, individuals in Belgium, England, Australia, and many more locations across the globe have organized Take Back the Night events. Take Back the Night’s website, TakeBackTheNight.org, provides resources and offers additional information for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.