That was the goal for the intimate partner violence class last week. The class held the first “Take Back the Night” event, a national sexual assault awareness rally geared toward sexual assault survivors.
The event is meant to let survivors know they have a voice on campus, said Hunter Fischer, programming committee member and MC of the event.
Fischer said TCU has been trying to get Take Back the Night on campus for a while, and a group of students was finally able to get it started.
Fischer said it was impactful the group held the event in April, which is sexual assault awareness month.
She said having the event and speaking out against sexual assault is beneficial to the TCU community.
“It’s helping those survivors feel empowered,” Fischer said. “It’s telling them it’s not their fault, and it’s more than what happened to them.”
The event featured keynote speaker David Cozzens, associate vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of campus life.
The program also included a presentation called, “It’s Not Your Fault.” The presentation is similar to “More Than Words,” an activity utilized at Frog Camps. “It’s Not Your Fault” focuses on the idea of addressing survivors and victims of sexual assault and letting them know they are not in the wrong, Fischer said.
After the presentation, two survivors shared their stories and offered a “speak out” for audience members to come forward and speak.
Fischer said, at first, she did not expect anyone to share during the speak out. But once people started participating, she was excited to see the chain reaction that started.
A sophomore, who asked not to be identified by name, said he found a lot of strength in this event because he was sexually assaulted in the past during his time at TCU.
“It allows me to come forward and find strength in this community,” he said.
Fischer said one thing she has learned through this event is that it’s not her fault. She said she has lived through multiple assaults, and now she gets to tell her story.
“I was excited for Take Back the Night,” Fischer said. “But I had no idea I was going to be empowered like this.”