April 27, 2014

Students March Against Sexual, Domestic Abuse

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Dozens of Cornellians marched from Ho Plaza to Dewitt Park in a stance against domestic and sexual violence during the Advocacy Center’s annual “Take Back the Night” event Friday.

Three separate marches from Ho Plaza, Ithaca College and the Greater Ithaca Activities Center culminated in downtown Ithaca, where attendees spoke about issues regarding domestic and sexual violence, according to Brenna Funfar ’16, philanthropy chair for the Alpha Chi sorority.

Speakers from the Advocacy Center of Tompkins County — which sponsored the event — spoke to attendees about sexual and domestic violence and individuals from the crowd were able to go up and speak out against these issues. In addition, some of the attendees read poetry and sang songs, according to Funfar.

Many spoke about what they thought the definition of the word “justice” was, which was the theme of Friday’s event.

Funfar, who said she attended last year’s Take Back the Night, said the number of attendees grew from last year’s, which she attributed to the event’s success. Approximately 200 attended last year’s “Take Back the Night,” The Sun previously reported.

In addition, Funfar said that a handful of men also spoke at the event, which she said helped show that issues surrounding sexual assault are not “just women’s issues.”

“In general, all of the speakers brought their points across and were able to relate to each other,” Funfar said.

Georgiana DeRham ’15 said she thought the event helped to raise awareness about how sexual and domestic violence still persists in the daily lives on many.

“I think it was a really positive experience for participants and great to see communities from

Cornell, Ithaca College and Ithaca come together for an event like this,” she said.

Funfar said she thought that the number of individuals at the event and seeing how many survivors there were and how many allies that they had was one of the “greatest takeaways” of Take Back the Night.

“It was a very inspiring event,” Funfar said. “I’m very happy to meet many men and women who attended it.”