April 8, 2016

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Takes Back the Night April 19

VALDOSTA — Believing that no one should fear the night, or the day, Valdosta State University will Take Back the Night at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 19, in the Student Union Ballrooms.

Faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends of the university are invited to attend and help shatter the silence and stop the violence by standing up and speaking out.

Take Back the Night will feature a screening of the “The Hunting Ground,” which has been described as “a piercing, monumental exposé of rape culture on college campuses, poised to light a fire under a national debate.” The documentary film was inspired by sexual assault survivors turned activists and was written and directed by Kirby Dick and produced by Amy Ziering, Academy Award-nominated and two-time Emmy Award-winning filmmakers.

Popcorn and snow cones will be available during the film screening.  Admission is free of charge.

A panel discussion will follow. Dr. Bobbie Ticknor, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice at VSU, will serve as the moderator.

Take Back the Night attendees will be given the opportunity to anonymously write their question or concern on an index card and have it addressed by an eight-member panel of experts — Kim Bennett, sexual assault coordinator at The Haven; Ann Farmer, assistant director of the VSU Police Department; Tricia Hale, director of the VSU Counseling Center; Sequoia Kirby, comptroller with the VSU Student Government Association; Isabella Lugo, president of Greek Ambassadors at VSU; Dr. Kathleen Lowney, a professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice at VSU; Mark McNalley, associate director of Residence Life at VSU; and Maggie Viverette, coordinator of Title IX at VSU.   

Take Back the Night’s history dates back at least half a century, to a time when women from many European countries gathered as a tribunal council to discuss safety when walking down public streets. The movement found its way to the United States in the 1970s, again emerging from a desire to make the streets a safe place at night. In 1973 protesters spoke out against pornography in San Francisco, Calif., and the murdering of women of color in Los Angeles, Calif., according to the Take Back the Night Foundation. Two years later, a march was held in Philadelphia, Pa., after the murder of Susan Alexander Speeth, a microbiologist who was stabbed to death while walking home alone.

Today, Take Back the Night focuses on ending sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual abuse, and all other forms of sexual violence. While some events are women-only, many others, such as the event at VSU, include men as victims, bystanders, and supporters.

VSU’s Take Back the Night is sponsored by VSU’s Office of Health Promotions, Office of Social Equity, and Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force, as well as The Haven, a nonprofit organization that provides 24-hour emergency temporary shelter and services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in nine South Georgia counties.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and Take Back the Night is part of VSU’s ongoing initiative to end sexual violence on college and university campuses and beyond by getting everyone — administrators, faculty, staff, students, visitors, friends, neighbors, alumni — involved in creating safer campuses and communities.

“Prevention is Possible” is this year’s national theme.  

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center:

• One in five women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college. Of these, more than 90 percent do not report the assault.

• Young people experience heightened rates of sexual violence. Youth ages 12 to 17 are 2.5 times more likely to be victims of rape or sexual assault.

• One in six boys and one in four girls will experience a sexual assault before age 18.

• One in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives.

Contact Dr. Bobbie Ticknor at bbticknor@valdosta.edu to learn more.

On the Web:






Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities. 

The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals: 

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Goal 4: Foster an environment of creativity and scholarship.

Visit http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/planning/strategic-plan.php to learn more.