A march to highlight the need to stop abuse of women worldwide will be held this evening in Oneonta.
The Take the Night Back program will start at 6:30 p.m.* in front of the Milne Library on the SUNY Oneonta campus.
Rebecca Harrington, health educator at SUCO, said people are kidding themselves if they think violence against women happens only in places like India and Brazil, which have been in the news in recent weeks.
“You just have to look at Steubensville, Ohio,” she said, referring to a highly publicized case in which two high school football players have been convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl during an alcohol-fueled post-game party. “That could happen anywhere.”
The sponsors include the college’s P.A.I.R.S. Committee and Opportunities for Otsego’s Violence Intervention Program.
It will then proceed to the Hartwick College campus and then through the city, arriving about 7:30 p.m. at Kim Muller Plaza, where refreshments and entertainment will be provided. A candlelight vigil in the plaza will honor victims of violence.
According to the website of the Take Back the Night Foundation, the first documented Take Back the Night event happened in 1975 in Philadelphia in response to the stabbing of a young woman. The slogan “Take Back The Night” was introduced by Anne Pride as the title of a memorial she read at an anti-violence rally in Pittsburgh.
“At least one out of every three women worldwide has been beaten, forced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime,” a statement on the Take Back the Night website reads. “Of these crimes, less than 50 percent are reported to the police. It’s time to make a change. Shatter the silence. Stop the violence.”
The event coincides with Sexual Assault Awareness Month, an initiative of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
The Oneonta event has been going on for several years.
*Editor's note: This story was changed at 9:30 a.m. April 11 to correct the time of the event.