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Strength through Community

April 20, 2010

On April 14, Saint Joseph College students, faculty and staff came together with passion and a mission. “Take Back the Night” was both the name of the event and the rallying theme. Organized by adjunct faculty member Marcy Carlone and her class on victimology, the gathering began with a viewing of posters and t-shirts depicting statements from sexual abuse victims and data about the incidence of sexual assault and abuse in the U.S. The keynote speech was an evocative and inspiring true-life narrative by and about Donna Palomba’s experience. She is the founder of Jane Doe No More, an organization dedicated to “improve[ing] the way society responds to victims of sexual assault.”

Members of the Saint Joseph College community march through campus during Take Back the Night.

Over 150 people attended the presentation, after which they marched silently across campus with lighted candles, stopping at thirteen stations providing statistics and information illustrating the need to destigmatize and support victims of abuse. As the somber march came to an end, the assembly returned to McGovern Hall to celebrate their new awareness and strengthened sense of community through poetry, music and dance.

It seems clear that women and men, working together in partnership, can successfully combat decades of stereotypes about victims and perpetrators.

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