Students take back the night for victims of violence
One in four college women have been raped or have suffered from an attempted rape, speakers said.
November 16, 2009
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Photographs of registered sex offenders were on display at Maxson Plaza on Monday as part of an event to take back what has been lost because of domestic violence.
The photographs were taken from the state’s Megan’s Law Web site for Take Back the Night, an event that served as a protest to violence against women. Students marched from the plaza through campus to the Beach Auditorium.
One of the major themes of the night was awareness. To inform marchers of how domestic violence affects everyone, psychology student Christina Craig said that every five minutes, a woman in America is domestically abused.
“This will serve to remind us of the reality and of the frequency of domestic violence,” Craig said. “The ringing of the bell also interrupts the people marching to symbolize that domestic violence and sexual abuse interrupts the lives of these women that have been victimized.”
As marchers walked through campus, they shouted “Stop the silence, stop the violence!” Along the way, students stopped to read poetry. In addition, the marchers had moments of silence for the victims who had been attacked at Cal State Long Beach a few years ago.
The entire night was filled with emotions. One in four college women have been raped or have suffered from an attempted rape and 75 percent of male students involved in date rape cases were drinking or using drugs at the time, according to these statistics provided by Jeffrey Klaus, director of Student Life and Development.
Klaus read a quote from University Police Chief Stan Skipworth that read, “Women and police officers share a very important value, and that is: Each depends on distrust as an important means of survival.”
Christina Tangalakis, the 15-year-old niece of CSULB psychology professor Gina Golden Tangalakis, shared her own story about distrust. Christina was 14 when she was raped. Some shed tears, while others shifted in their seats, as she nervously yet courageously revealed her past through slam poetry.
Christina told the audience that she thought Cody, her attacker, was her friend. She immediately lost trust in him and her friends who were with her the night of the attack. Doctors had to prescribe Christina medication because she began to hurt herself and contemplated suicide.
Laura Kirstein was a victim who shared her personal experience of being attacked by a friend she had known for years. She read an inspirational piece that she keeps on her refrigerator at home because she felt it was important to set the tone with these words.
“People are often illogical and self-centered — forgive them anyway. … What you spend years building, someone can destroy overnight — build anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, there may be jealousy — be happy anyway,” she read. “The good you do today will often be forgotten tomorrow – do good anyway.”