Archive for Friday, September 24, 2010

Survivors, supporters rally for Take Back the Night

Victims of domestic violence gathered in South Park Thursday night for the annual Take Back the Night event. Victims shared stories of their experiences and helped each other heal.

September 24, 2010


Dozens of people filled South Park in Lawrence Thursday night for an annual event to support survivors of domestic violence. Take Back the Night carried on, despite the storm.

“It’s an opportunity for the community to say this is enough,” said Audra Fullerton, director of community engagement at Willow Domestic Violence Center. “Women should be safe in their homes at night; women should be safe on their streets at night.”

Despite the steady falling rain, the audience listened as speakers addressed the crowd. One of the speakers included Kristin Tebow, a survivor of human trafficking. She told the group that she was at a bar in Manhattan when she believes a woman slipped something into her drink. The next thing she knew, she was surrounded by seven men in a Junction City hotel.

“By telling my story, I’m trying to put a face on it (human trafficking),” Tebow said.

Among the group of people who listened to Tebow’s story was Diane Doresky. She said she survived a brutal attack in Topeka.

“They almost killed me; they don’t know who it was,” Doresky said. “They broke my feet and my legs.”

Doresky said she was in the hospital for more than a month. The case remains unsolved. Although the case has no closure, she is attempting to find some for herself.

She said the Take Back the Night event was spiritual and moving.

“I’m lucky to be alive, so I’m very blessed,” Doresky said.

Organizers said the event was part of an international effort to support survivors of sexual assault, rape and violence. It included educational booths as well as a clothesline of T-shirts. On each T-shirt was a different story of survival.

“It helps people to be able to speak out and show that it (domestic violence) is larger than what we’re seeing and hearing about,” said Dominique Franklin, a Lawrence resident.

Fullerton said one in 10 women in Kansas is affected by domestic violence every year.

At the end of the event, those attending were invited to the gazebo to share their stories. A candlelight vigil followed. A march down Massachusetts Street was also planned, but organizers postponed it because of the rain. A future date has not been set.


SWJayhawk13 3 years, 6 months ago

As a DV survivor and someone that attended TBN, it was an amazing, healing event for me, and it makes me sad to see so many people being judgmental and critical. TBN was an opportunity for survivors to come together and heal together. The booths that they had set up were very informational and I learned about a lot of new resources in the community. I got to participate in the Clothesline project for the first time, and it was a great experience. I started crying while I was making my t-shirt, I had so much pent-up emotions that ended up on that shirt. I was disappointed that the march down Mass St. didn't occur, but I can understand why. I would encourage any survivor (who is emotionally ready) to attend TBN. I am so glad that I finally did, I think it was a giant step in my healing process.


traveller83 3 years, 6 months ago

What an amazing statement that these folks were out in the rain standing up for their cause and making the statement that they would not be stopped!

I tend to try and avoid dignifying comments with a response...must be a day of weakness for me.

As far as the issue of children...there are many children there and their artwork posted telling their stories. Often children are victims of violence and abuse also- I understand shielding one's own but they also may learn something. TBTN had a children's area with fun activities including educational info about there own safety. I have been for 3 yrs and haven't seen innappropriate rap so I can not speak to that.

This event is about many kinds of violence- there was a speaker that focused on human trafficking. All are invited to the speak out circle to tell any story of violence or abuse.

Sounds like more folks need to make it out and participate before becoming so critical...but that is usally the case.


mr_right_wing 3 years, 6 months ago

This event has come a long way; the original "Womyn Take Back the Night" was very militantly anti-male. Media was asked not to send male reporters, men were banned from their march or even speaking publically to the crowd (even in a act of solidarity.).

Unfortunately men are increasingly becoming victims of women as well as other men (domestic partner/husband) in domestic violence and there are both boys and girls who are molested and sexually assulted by both women and men.

It really is encouraging that this even has become more accepting and tolerant.


cutny 3 years, 6 months ago

Yo Glock. Maybe you could answer your own question by reading the article. Sounds like you got some mad defensive "suggests," to offer. Go volunteer to show what you know! I'm sure it would be appreciated.


gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 6 months ago

Was there any talk of concealed carry or practical defensive suggests or was it all about the angry poetry?


Irenaku 3 years, 6 months ago

Hedley: I believe the message is to say that domestic violence against anyone, regardless of gender, is wrong. I think the "Night" element is to draw attention to how women have historically not been able to walk safely at night due to their being targets for violent attacks. It has expanded a lot though, to include everyone. As violence against men happens much less than violence against women, this has historically been an event that represents women.

My concern, and it has been one for the past 6 years since I first attended this event, is that the event is advertised as an "all ages' gathering, and by implication, mothers, fathers and caregivers can bring their children. Well, the first time I attended this it was all fine and well until two women stood up in front of the microphone and did some kind of raunchy spoken-word beat poetry about detailed sexaul activity with multiple partners, lending and borrowing various sex toys (they named the sex toys specifically), etc. I was mortified that there were children at this gathering who looked to be anyhwere from 6 to 13 years of age. I attended the same event a few years later, and guess what? Same ladies, same poetry.

I have contacted the organizers various times to ask them if they might either A) refrain from including such explicit material to an "all ages" event, or B) include in the flyers around town that the event will have content that is not appropriate for children. I have yet to hear back from anyone. This is sad because my younger sister (she is 29) wanted to attend this event, and being a single mom, naturally planned to bring her 4 year old daughter. I sadly had to inform her that she might re-think it due to the content at the event. I contacted the organizers again for this one they just had to find out what might be at the event, and still have not heard back.


HedleyLamarrr 3 years, 6 months ago

What exactly are they taking the night back from? Vampires? Or is the point that violence only happens at night? I have never understood this event.


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