By Sarah Perkes SYRACUSE N.Y. – (NCC NEWS) — Women between ages 18 and 24 are at elevated risk for sexual assault. Among undergraduate students on college campuses, 23.1% of females and 5.4% of males experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation, according to rainn.org.
Take Back The Night is an annual event in Syracuse that works to spread awareness for different types of interpersonal violence. Samantha Skaller is a peer educator that works with the office of health promotions to help setup the nationally recognized event. Additionally, she is the northeast regional advisor for the It’s On Us Campaign and works with the organization nationally.
“I’ve been able to see campus leaders across the northeast and the country really come together on these issues and I think that Take Back The Night is a perfect segway into sexual assault awareness month, which is the month of April,” Skaller said. “The event is extremely diverse for a reason so we can reach as many people and as many identities as we can.”
She believes that the most important issue is to understand that rapists and perpetrators are the ones committing the crime, and that no one needs to victim blame anyone. She also stresses how much of a weight the community has.
“It’s important to know that we can play a role in ending interpersonal violence here at Syracuse University,” Samantha said. “Because it’s such a large scale environment survivors know that there are people on their side. Survivors and victims of interpersonal violence know that there’s a space for them.”
The committee for Take Back The Night is randomly selected by different professors and faculty within the university. They randomly recommend people that they believe would be a good fit, participate, and would be able to create a successful event, according to program planner Cheyenne Amaya.
The upcoming “week of action” events and programs are located on the Office of Promotions website or the It’s On Us Facebook page.