HWS Community to Take Back Their Lives – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

HWS Community to Take Back Their Lives

Once a year, the women of William Smith gather at night to march around campus, protesting violent crimes against women as part of “Take Back the Night.” This year, the HWS community is invited to take it a step further by taking back their lives. The “Take Back Your Life” march will take place on Friday, April 25. The planned route for the march begins at the Finger Lakes Community College, proceeds through the City of Geneva and ends at Coxe Hall. A stop is planned at City Hall for a speak-out, which will include poetry readings, speaking and singing. Chanting and the distribution of ribbons will occur throughout the march. A film screening is planned to follow, at 6:30 p.m. in Coxe 7. Created by the Women’s Collective and victims of rape and sexual assault, the film will examine, through interviews with members of Geneva and HWS community, issues of gender inequality, sexual assault, rape and how Geneva can be made into a safe space for victims of rape and sexual assault. The march is co-sponsored by the Women’s Collective and the Rape and Abuse Crisis Service of the Finger Lakes (RACSFL). Amy Nadel ’09, a volunteer at RACSFL, has helped plan the event. “During the march we hope to have the support of the community and students to bring awareness to the issues of child abuse and sexual assault,” she says. Compared to the annual “Take Back the Night” march, the “Take Back Your Life” event addresses the fact that sexual assault can occur at any time of day and to both genders. “Having ‘Take Back Your Life’ during the daylight hours gives visibility and validation to the victims of sexual assault and rape, and supports those victims who wish to speak out on their behalf. Both men and women can be victims of sexual assault and therefore everyone, men and women, can march,” said Virginia Araujo-Torruella, the Neighborhood Advocacy Coordinator for RACSFL. Those interested in marching are asked to gather in the parking lot of the Finger Lakes Community College (on the corner of Pulteney Street and Williams Street) at 5 p.m.