Take Back the Night Rally Highlights Turn Off the Violence Week

Posted: October 1, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Megan McDonnell

For the 16th consecutive year, George Mason is hosting Turn Off the Violence Week, Oct. 3-9. This annual event promotes the importance of public safety and builds community awareness about aggravated sexual assault and violence against women.

The Take Back the Night Rally and March headlines the week on Tuesday, Oct. 5. Among the speakers is keynoter Melissa Kalka, a student at Texas A&M, who will share her story about how rape impacted her college life. The rally begins at 6:15 p.m. with live music and poetry and concludes with a unifying march around campus at 8:15 p.m.

The Clothesline Project will run Oct. 4-7 in the grove by SUB I. This visual display of T-shirts is made by and for victims of violence. Each shirt is decorated to remember a specific experience, allowing women to “break the silence.”

Kalka will speak again on Wednesday, Oct. 6, this time joined by her parents and sister, who will talk about their experiences as a family. The hour-long discussion will be held at 5 p.m. in the Johnson Center, Room 239. At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, there will be an informal gathering next to the Clothesline Project where survivors are encouraged to share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

Other activities related to Turn Off the Violence Week include Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) classes at the Aquatic and Fitness Center this weekend. The program, sponsored by the Mason Police Department, is free to the university community. Next week in the Johnson Center Food Court, a kiosk will have information, safety whistles, and other goodies Oct. 4 through Oct. 7. On Monday and Tuesday, men can pick up a white ribbon in the Food Court during the White Ribbon Campaign, an effort to promote men working to end violence toward women.

Turn Off the Violence Week is sponsored by Sexual Assault Services, the Women’s Center, the Women’s Coalition, the Men’s Allies Group, Student Activities, University Life, and the Fairfax County Police Department Victim Service Section.

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