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Students Speaking Out Against Violence

UC Riverside Students will "Take Back the Night" Thursday at the Bell Tower

Event will include dramatic stories, blue jeans, and high-heeled shoes, all to call for an end to violence against women

(April 18, 2007)

Aniee Sarkissian, a graduate student, and undergraduate Namiko Evans hand out literature at a Enlarge

Aniee Sarkissian, a graduate student, and undergraduate Namiko Evans hand out literature at a "Take Back the Night" event on the UCR campus.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — University of California, Riverside students will “Take Back the Night” in several events beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 19, as part of an international movement to end violence against women.

UCR’s program, “Many Voices Breaking Silence,” will include a march on campus, real survivor stories, and a fashion show aimed at building awareness.

“One of the most powerful events is when we ask survivors to get up and share their stories,” said Romanie Arterberry, interim director of the campus Women’s Resource Center. “It makes it real. It puts a face to a situation, and it allows survivors to empower themselves. They share the story, sometimes for the first time, and it allows the healing process to begin.”

Arterberry said that while Take Back the Night focuses on violence against women, the tragic events at Virginia Tech this week are a sober reminder of the need to remain vigilant about all campus safety issues.

“This event is about stopping violence against women, but what happened at Virginia Tech will not go unnoticed,” she said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to them.”

Hundreds of college campuses now take part in Take Back the Night, which traces its roots as far back as 1877 when London women protested the dangers they faced on the streets at night. Protest events today aim to raise awareness about all forms of violence but pay special attention to sexual violence against women.

UCR’s events begin at 6 p.m. at the campus Bell Tower. The evening’s highlights include:

-- Denim Day Fashion Show: 6 p.m.
Following a brief introduction, UCR students, faculty and staff will model blue jeans in support of Denim Day in LA, an annual campaign designed to raise awareness about sexual violence. On April 25, people around the world are asked to wear jeans in continuing protest of a controversial 1992 ruling by the Italian Supreme Court, in which a man’s rape conviction was overturned because the victim wore tight blue jeans.

-- Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: 6:30
Campus men will attempt to walk across stage wearing high heels in a show of support for efforts to end violence against women.

-- Survivor Speak-Out: 7 p.m.
Students who have survived sexual or other violent assault and are willing to share their stories will be invited to speak publicly. Survivors will be followed by a featured speaker, poet Judy Holiday.

-- March against violence: 8 p.m.
Event participants will embark on a march around campus designed to take note of the areas where assaults have occurred.

-- Candlelight Vigil: 9 p.m.
Marchers will return to the Bell Tower for a candlelight vigil in honor of victims of sexual assault.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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