“This year will be my fourth in attending Take Back the Night on Loyola’s and Tulane’s campus. I will be honest and say that I did not have a thorough understanding of the event before participating in my first march. Listening to the unfathomable statistics on victims of sexual violence and hearing testimonies from my own peers, I was introduced, for the first time, to the reality of a crime both heinous and shockingly frequent. In response to this, I’ve noticed Loyola has established several programs and avenues to offer advocacy and/or counseling including their Sexual Assault Victim’s Advocacy Program, as well as crisis, group, and individual counseling. These programs are showcased at the march, letting any in attendance know of the services available to them.
As moving as the testimonials and speeches, the solidarity achieved amongst the three colleges–Loyola, Tulane, and Dillard–that come together for this event brings hope to the vision of collective awareness. Simply by attending the march, each participant is no longer a bystander to injustice but a voice for the otherwise muted. Marching, for me, is a visible sign to my peers that I am aware of their suffering, and suffer with them. Marching down St. Charles Ave., we, peers from different colleges and backgrounds, take a stance against this injustice that speaks as loudly as the chants we shout. Take Back the Night!”
Charles Bourg is a senior, from New Orleans, majoring in Sociology. He has worked in the Counseling Center for two years as a student worker and received certification as a Sexual Assault Victim’s Advocate through the center. His email address is CLBourg@loyno.edu