The fourth annual Take back the Night event, Oct. 12, once again brought Ferris State University students and the Big Rapids community together to bring awareness of sexual assault and domestic violence.
Students and residents began their march at 5:30 PM, marching from the FSU quad and down State Street with rape awareness signs, banners and chanting phrases: “No, means no” and “We won’t be raped, we won’t be beat”.
“Rape is a very personal crime,” said Kelly Quinn, keynote speaker for Take back the night event and rape survivor. “No one wants to talk about it but it needs to be done so that healing can begin.”
The march was concluded with a lecture from Quinn, a Big Rapids native part of the Quinn’s Music store family, and from Lisa Kemmis, a Big Rapids resident and rape survivor.
“Once a person can forgive, that anger, rage and fear will no longer rule them,” said Quinn. “Survivors can go on to have a better quality of life.”
Quinn feels that learning about her attacker’s past and knowing that they too were sexual assault victims themselves, helped her come to understand her own rape.
Sexual assault and domestic violence outwardly appears to be woman’s issue, however many event supporters were male.
“I have a mother and sister and I wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to them,” said Markus Woods, criminal justice major and four- year participant of the march.
“It was a good place to go because we felt secure.” said Mortonsen.
Benson believes that there is not enough done by police to arrest attackers, she also feels that abusers should remain guarded by the using the tether system.
Quinn, author of Captured, Sentenced, Forgiven, ended the night by performing the song “Sweet Forgiveness” by Susan Tedeschi.
Take back the night is sponsored by the WISE, a community woman’s shelter that assists in helping and counseling victims of abuse. n