Take Back The Night with NDSU

Everyone encouraged to join the march against sexual violence, share experiences at open mic night session on campus

The NDSU Violence Prevention Educators and the Sexual Assault Prevention and Advocacy program are hosting the annual Take Back The Night march and rally against sexual violence on Wednesday, April 6 in the Oceti Sakowin Ballroom. 

Community members can come at 5:30 p.m. to learn about local organizations involved in supporting survivors, visit resource tables, participate in sign making for the march and write supported messages on old denim for Denim Day and learn what they can do to prevent violence. 

Students make posters for NDSU’s Take Back The Night event.
Photo Courtesy | Violence Prevention Educators and Sexual Assault Prevention and Advocacy at NDSU

At 6:15 p.m., Erienne Fawcett, Assistant Director of Women and Gender Studies will lead as the keynote speaker followed by the march around campus led by University Police. After the march, survivors and other participants will get a chance to share their experiences at an open mic session.


Take Back The Night events began in the 1960’s when women in Belgium and England protested how they did not feel safe walking down the street alone at night. The movement reached the United States in 1973 when a group of women at the University of Southern Florida dressed in black sheets, held broomsticks and marched through campus demanding a women’s center.

A couple of years later in 1975, a Take Back The Night event took place in Philadelphia to protest the murder of a microbioligst walking home after work. San Francisco also had a number of rallies in protest of “snuff pornography” and violence against women in the 70’s.

Communities and campuses all over the world now participate in this movement against violence. 

“Over the years, it has morphed into less of a protest and more into an empowering event for survivors, community members who may have survivors close to them or who are interested in what they can do to help prevent violence and help keep our community safe,” Megan Talcott, the Sexual Assault Prevention and Advocacy Coordinator, said. 

Why students should attend TBTN at NDSU

NDSU has put on their annual TBTN events for several years. However, due to COVID-19, this will be the first in-person event in two years.

“Oftentimes when I talk with survivors, they talk about feeling alone or that they feel like they’re going through something by themselves,” said Talcott. “Standing in a room of hundreds of people who are there to support you and care about you, people who have taken time out of their busy schedules to come to an event when they could have stayed at home and watched Netflix hopefully lets those survivors feel less alone, and that there is a community out there for them, a community of survivors, but also people who are really passionate about keeping people safe.”

The empowering march will lead into a calming, dimmed lit atmosphere with fake candles. The open mic session will give survivors and other community members a chance to share their own experiences or experiences someone they are close to.

“The basis of it is trying to get people to realize that it’s not as uncommon as a lot of people think it is, a lot of people don’t think it doesn’t happen very often and events like these help spread awareness for people who feel that they are alone,” Khiana Knuth, a Violence Prevention Educator, said. 

Talcott encourages everyone to come to this event. Educating on how to end violence once and for all is an important subject that affects all people. 

“Sometimes it can feel like, ‘Oh that doesn’t impact me,’ or, ‘I’m not part of the problem, so I don’t need to be involved in that,’” said Talcott. “I think we all need to be involved in the solution for us to get to a community that is free from violence, so if you’re thinking, ‘I don’t know if I feel comfortable there,’ or, ‘I’m not someone who is gonna hurt another person, so why should I go?’ I would really encourage you to think about what you can do to help prevent violence or support the people around you.” 

One easy way people can start educating themselves is by attending events like TBTN. “Show the community how many of us are really there to support survivors.”

For people who are not able to make the TBTN event, there will be another opportunity to participate, such as the Craft Night: Self-Care Tote Bags happening on April 13 where participants receive tote bags to decorate and fill with information about self-care.

Follow the NDSU VPE’s Instagram, to learn more information about upcoming events.

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