On Friday, April 26, New College students gathered on Z Green to participate in the annual Take Back The Night event. The demonstration, which began in Philadelphia in 1975 and quickly spread across the world, is an international protest rally and march intended to combat sexual abuse and assault.
Second-year and former Catalyst business editor Cassandra Corrado organized this year’s event.
“Women, all the time, regardless if they are cis or trans, and actually more so if they are trans, are afraid to be outside by themselves at night,” Corrado said. “Take back the night is to remember the people who are survivors and the people who were victims.”
Corrado said that, in her experience sexual assault often goes under reported at New College. Although New College often reports a very low incidence rate for on-campus sexual assaults compared to other campuses, Corrado said that the difference comes from a severe lack of reporting at New College.
“The only difference is the reported part,” Corrado explained. “It’s happening but people often say that it was a weird situation, or that they were drinking or that they don’t want to talk about it with the school because the administration isn’t always the best about it. Reporting isn’t necessarily right from everyone but those numbers are definitely not accurate.”
According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, about a quarter of a million sexual assaults are committed in the U.S. every year, with only forty six percent of these crimes being reported. Corrado hopes that providing a forum for survivors, victims and their friends and family members to discuss sexual assault will help fight stigma and foster empowerment.
“It’s really about creating a sense of community,” Corrado added. “What we are hoping to accomplish is that people know there are groups they can talk to…that they are safe.”