The McDonough County Voice
10.24.15 | Michelle Langhout
MACOMB — About 350 people made their way from Sherman Hall to Chandler Park along a luminaria-lit path Thursday night to raise awareness of sexual assault and domestic violence in our community.
Participants in the Take Back the Night (TBTN) rally heard and shared stories of survival of sexual assault and violence as they marched between Sherman Hall and Chandler Park. The event, spearheaded by the WIU Women's Center and the Western Illinois Regional Council, included the iconic Clothesline Project where passersby could read personal stories painted on suspended T-shirts. The event also featured speakers and performances of personal stories and poetry; song and dance from survivors and their allies.
Rallying cries of "No matter how we dress, no matter where we go, yes means yes and no means no," among others, rang out through the streets, occasionally drawing residents out from their homes. Some of the residents along the route included party-goers at a fraternity house, who glanced at marchers as they filed by with lit candles, chanting.
The WIU Women's Center and the Victim Services Program of the Western Illinois Regional Council (WIRC) collaborated with several other agencies and organizations to organize the rally. The 26th annual TBTN event was themed, "Straight Outta Silence: End the Violence," underscoring the need to speak out about sexual assault and gendered violence.