Niagara University is inviting the community to Take Back the Night on Thursday, April 4, through participation in an annual event that aims to end sexual, relationship, and domestic violence in all forms.
Co-sponsored by the YWCA of the Niagara Frontier, the event begins in the Gallagher Center gym at 6 p.m. with resource tables, poster making, a brief program, and a student-organized march across campus. The event concludes with a candlelight vigil.
Admission is $1 for students and $5 for the general public, with all proceeds being donated to the YWCA of the Niagara Frontier.
This is the fourth year that NU has hosted the event, which drew hundreds of students and community members in 2016, 2017, and 2018.
“The Catholic and Vincentian mission of Niagara University calls on us to be the light for those who need our help, and this is another way we are able to do that,” said the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., president of Niagara University. “We are committed to fostering an educational environment that focuses on the dignity of every human being who comes on our campus. I’m very grateful to the students, faculty, staff, and administrators who have invested themselves in this cause to affect change.”
“Take Back the Night events help all survivors reclaim their voice and empower those who have been victimized,” added Dr. Jennifer E. Beebe, associate professor of counseling, who is co-organizing the event at NU with Dr. Dana L. Radatz, assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice.
“This year’s theme is ‘Imagine a World ... Dare to Build it,’ as we are emphasizing the ability students and our community have to imagine a world without relationship and sexual violence, and to take steps toward achieving that dream,” Dr. Radatz said.
“Similar to last year’s event, we will be highlighting the outstanding leadership efforts that make Niagara University and our local community change-agents in this movement,” Dr. Beebe noted. “At the same time, we intend to educate and increase awareness on sexual violence and honor survivors.
“Through events like this, as well as other forms of relationship and sexual violence awareness outreach that NU conducts with students, it’s clear that the university administration has made sexual assault prevention a priority.”
The YWCA of the Niagara Frontier is the certified provider of confidential crisis counseling for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Niagara County. Among the organization’s numerous crisis service programs is a 24-hour crisis hotline staffed by trained professionals who provide an immediate response to assault victims.
Take Back the Night is a nonprofit charity with the mission of ending sexual violence in all forms, including sexual assault, sexual abuse, dating violence, and domestic violence. TBTN empowers survivors in the healing process and has hosted events throughout the world for over 50 years.
The event at Niagara University has brought together students and faculty members from several academic programs, especially counseling and criminology and criminal justice. To learn more about NU’s array of academic offerings, please visit www.niagara.edu.