Everyone has a story to tell. Any good counselor or therapist would tell you that it is important for people to tell their stories. As a former crisis telephone counselor for many years, I’ve listened to many people’s stories. I’ve heard the struggles of many in difficult relationships where they don’t want to stay, but they are also afraid to leave.
This is why the Take Back the Night event being held this coming Thursday evening at is so important. Take Back the Night, which started nationally in the 1970s is a collaborative event hosted by Carroll University with support from the Walter Young Center and the to bring awareness to the problems of sexual assault and domestic violence. The event, in its third year, will take place on the Carroll University main lawn at 7 p.m. The event will consist of a survivors speak out, a candlelight vigil and a silent march around the community. Anyone is welcome at this event.
I attended Take Back the Night the first year as an advocate. Sadly, I know people who have been victims of rape and other forms of domestic violence. I was struck by the number of people who spoke out, the stories they shared and the tears that were shed. Domestic violence and sexual assault have no age demographic. Some of the saddest things I heard were spoken by young people who have been abused.
I was also struck by the hopefulness in what people shared. There is help. There were those who talked about the great work the case managers at the Waukesha Women’s Center have done. You may not know that in addition to case management, the Women’s Center offers a safe shelter for battered women and also has a 24-hour crisis line that can be reached by calling 262-542-3828. All these services and more, listed on the website, are provided free and confidentially to community members who need them.
The Walter Young Center offers mental health counseling and spiritual advisement for Carroll University students. In addition, services for students with disabilities are also provided. Women’s Center staff and counselors from the Walter Young Center at Carroll University will be available to talk to at the event. The Women’s Center will also be selling T-shirts. Monetary donations will be accepted for this great non-profit organization.
Stand up, be an advocate and let’s Take Back the Night this Thursday.