1250 Bellflower Blvd. Long Beach, CA 90840 -- LA-4 201  --  (562) 985-8000.

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Worldwide rally against violence and sexual assault localized by CSULB feminist organization

F.O.R.C.E. encourages both sexes to get involved on campus in the annual protest against sexual harassment and abuse.

Frances Vega

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Both women and men will Take Back the Night at this evening’s rally against sexual assault, hosted by the feminist organization at Cal State Long Beach.

Take Back the Night is a worldwide rally designed to spread awareness of rape and violence against women. Colleges all over the United States participate in Take Back the Night throughout the year. Every campus has a different message for its students. This year, the Feminist Organization Reclaiming Consciousness and Equality (F.O.R.C.E.) wants to make sure men get involved and that they know there’s and important role for them in this issue.

“I think it’s really important for men to be involved as well,” said Katie Sipes, co-chairwoman of F.O.R.C.E. “It’s not just a women’s issue. We need to look at who’s causing the violence and talk about how to prevent it.”

The event will begin at 7 p.m. at the fountain behind Brotman Hall. There will be a speakout forum for victims to talk about their experiences, speakers from other organizations, live music and a candlelight vigil.

This year’s speakers include Tiombe Preston, Yvonne Moore from the N.O.W organization, Cpl. Amy Rzasa from the University Police, and the Secretary of Women’s Affairs from the Associated Students, Inc., Sarah Noone.

The speakers will provide information on date rape, safety on campus and a variety of other issues. Music will be provided by American Indian singer Patricia Devereux.

F.O.R.C.E is expecting a turnout of about 100 students and has been hosting this event for more than four years. Members plan Take Back the Night months prior to the actual event. They dedicate much of their time securing a rally spot, speakers, advertising and fundraising.

“It’s an issue that’s very silenced in our culture and it happens all the time,” Sipes said. “The main point is to raise awareness of these issues.”

It is unclear when Take Back the Night events originally began. According to TakeBackTheNight.org, some believe they began in 1877 when women protested the fear and violence they were experiencing on the streets of London. Others say the first rally was in 1976 when women attending the International Tribunal on Crimes Against Women “lit candles and took to the moonlit streets of Belgium to denounce the continuation of violence against women,” according to TakeBackTheNight.org.

The website also states that Take Back the Night has been an important event in the U.S. since 1978. The phrase Take Back the Night was coined by protesters in San Francisco while taking place in an anti-pornography conference.

Supporters of the event hope that if survivors speak about their experiences that other victims will come forward. They also hope that it will help citizens take the issue more seriously and do more to prevent violence.

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1250 Bellflower Blvd. Long Beach, CA 90840 -- LA-4 201  --  (562) 985-8000.
Worldwide rally against violence and sexual assault localized by CSULB feminist organization