Buffalo State to celebrate Take Back the Night on April 10

Take Back the Night is a national annual sexual assault awareness campaign typically celebrated through marches and rallies. At Buffalo State, it’s become an expressive, performance-based event.

SUNY Buffalo State will hold its annual Take Back the Night event on Monday, April 10 in the Social Hall at 6 p.m.

Take Back the Night is a nationwide event intended to empower sexual assault survivors as they share their stories as well as give others who want to show their support for the cause the ability to do so.

The event has been held annually at Buffalo State for over 20 years. Typically, the event is a march or rally, but at Buffalo State, the event has evolved into a performance-based show.

“There’s poetry, spoken-word, people dance,” ‎said Paula Madrigal, Assistant Director of Prevention & Health Promotion for Weigel Health Center. “We want to allow our students the opportunity to use whatever they find to be the most comforting way to express themselves and to share that message and support them.”

The theme for this year’s event is #ClothingIsNotConsent, which was inspired by a conversation Madrigal had with students about the issue of consent.

“We were seeing that this theme was reoccurring about those conversations of victim blaming, slut shaming that ‘Oh, well you saw what she was wearing,'” Madrigal explained. “It doesn’t matter what someone or anyone is wearing. The message is that, just like clothing is not consent, the only thing that is consent is a verbal yes.”

Organizers hope Take Back the Night will be an opportunity for those who don’t already know someone affected by sexual assault to understand more about the entirety of the issue. They also plan to discuss different ways that people are affected by sexual assault and provide resources that can be used to help support the cause.

“Maybe they weren’t affect by it, maybe they don’t know someone, but they may have a better idea now about what this issue is in our community that is in our backyard and that these are the students sitting next to them in class,” Madrigal said. “It’s also a great opportunity to see the community come together and the resilience of the people who are sharing their story.”

In conjunction with the program, there will be a t-shirt contest and a residence life window painting contest going on up until the day of the event. The submissions for the contest will be displayed at the show.

Counseling services and therapy dogs will be available onsite.

Performers and volunteers for the event are still being accepted. Any students interested can contact Paula Madrigal for more information.

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