Organization ra…

Organization rallies to condemn violence against women

By Amy Mittinger

mittinger.1@osu.edu

Published: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 ; Updated: Wednesday, May 12, 2010

One of Ohio State’s oldest campus groups, Women and Allies Rising in Resistance, will kick off Take Back the Night to celebrate women’s achievements in society and encourage further improvement.

The event will be held today from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Wexner Plaza. It will begin with a rally, which will include speeches from assault survivors. Men are also encouraged to attend the event, as some members of the campus group are males.

“We’re inclusive! It’s not all women,” said Helene Holstein, a fourth-year in sociology.

Holstein joined the group when she transferred to OSU in Autumn quarter 2008.

Emily Kitsmiller, a third-year in psychology, said the purpose of the event is to protest not only sexual violence, but all violence against women. She said all stories are welcome.

“Even if it wasn’t you, we encourage everyone to speak out against violence,” Kitsmiller said.

The organization began in Belgium during the 1970s as a way for women to acknowledge that they shouldn’t be abused, Holstein said. Festivals soon popped up in California as people became more willing to share their stories.

OSU’s campus organization, originally named Women Against Rape, began in March 1972. The group’s goal is to improve the status of women at OSU and throughout Columbus.

Today’s event will include a performance by News of Your Departure, a band of OSU students.

Deb Schipper, a current member of Women and Allies Rising in Resistance, is also scheduled to speak at the event. Her speech will be followed by poetry readings by other members of the group and speeches from Sexual Violence Education Services.

In addition to various OSU student groups attending the event, off-campus groups Voices for Planned Parenthood and Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio will be there. Student visitors from Otterbein College will also attend the event.

No members of the media will be allowed. 

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