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Survivors, advocates take unified stand at ‘Take Back’ event

Survivors and supporters gather under the glow of the PDC’s Mountain Laurel Room lights.
Survivors and supporters gather under the glow of the PDC’s Mountain Laurel Room lights.
Human Services and Restorative Justice Club executive board officers and volunteer club members gather to honor the evening.
Human Services and Restorative Justice Club executive board officers and volunteer club members gather to honor the evening.
Cody R. Englehart, a junior in human services & restorative justice, offered introductory remarks and concluding comments.
Cody R. Englehart, a junior in human services & restorative justice, offered introductory remarks and concluding comments.
HSJ Club pins, ribbons and candles
HSJ Club pins, ribbons and candles

A survivor speak-out, candlelight vigil and resource sharing highlighted a “Take Back the Night” event held Friday in the Thompson Professional Development Center.

Coinciding with Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April, the gathering was co-sponsored by the Office of Student Engagement, the Human Services and Restorative Justice Club, and the Williamsport branch of YWCA Northcentral PA.

Keynoter Kilroe shares her survivor’s journey in hopes of inspiring healing and empowerment in others.
Keynoter Kilroe shares her survivor’s journey in hopes of inspiring healing and empowerment in others.

Keynote speaker Gigi Kilroe, author of “From Within: My Path of Hope and Healing From Sexual Abuse,” shared her story of abuse and empowerment, followed by other survivors’ statements. Rebecca Hosier, medical advocate with YWCA’s Wise Options program, also addressed the gathering and shared statistics and insights.

Jorden K. Graham, a freshman in human services & restorative justice, facilitated the middle of the program, featuring survivors’ comments and a candlelight vigil.
Jorden K. Graham, a freshman in human services & restorative justice, facilitated the middle of the program, featuring survivors’ comments and a candlelight vigil.
A soothing coloring page with a serious message, a rallying cry for those who have been silenced and ignored.
A soothing coloring page with a serious message, a rallying cry for those who have been silenced and ignored.

Dating back to the 1970s, “Take Back the Night” is the earliest worldwide movement to stand against sexual violence, according to the Take Back the Night Foundation.

With chapters and events active in over 30 countries, the organization serves to create safe communities and respectful relationships through awareness events and initiatives, while seeking to end sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and sexual abuse.

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