Students support victims of sexual assault during annual event

John Swanson | Photo Courtesy
Supporters and survivors were asked to share a virtual candle in place of the usual candlelight vigil.

Take Back the Night became Take Back the Week this year

Sexual Assault Awareness month may not be for another 6 months, but at North Dakota State University, the fight against sexual and relationship violence is year-round. Last week, NDSU hosted its annual Take Back the Week event, where students can participate in a variety of activities to support victims and raise awareness for the issue. 

Megan Talcott is NDSU’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Advocacy Coordinator. In a recent interview, Talcott detailed some of the notable changes to this year’s Take Back the Week, due to Covid-19 regulations.

“We had to reimagine the program,” Talcott said. “Normally it’s a one-night event where we all march together with music. But that obviously was not practical this year.”

According to Talcott, there were some in-person activities, but for more vulnerable or risk-averse students, the same activities were offered in a virtual format. “We hosted a craft night that followed a hybrid model- some showed up, and others participated virtually. Students received kits to help them make self-care toolboxes.”

In addition to the Take Back the Week, NDSU is committed to promoting services to ensure students are knowledgeable about sexual assault and how to respond when an assault does occur. 

According to the NDSU website, the Violence Prevention Educators program is, “A group of students who volunteer their time to work with the campus community on awareness and prevention of power-based personal violence with a focus on sexual violence, dating violence and stalking.” Talcott says that VPE training is excellent for dedicated students who are looking to be more active in the fight against sexual violence. 

Lastly, NDSU will be hosting the New Beginnings: Safe Dating After an Abusive Relationship event on Zoom on Wednesday, Oct. 21. The link to the meeting will be posted on Facebook. 

If you or someone you know have experienced sexual violence, you are not alone. See the following link for access to information and resources:

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