More than 100 University students and Ann Arbor residents gathered in the Diag last night for Take Back The Night, an event featuring a variety of speakers and performances to raise awareness about sexual assault.

The group is part of a national organization aimed at providing comfort and assistance to survivors of sexual assault said Pam Swider, community leader of Ann Arbor’s chapter of Take Back The Night. During the event, participants rallied in support of assault prevention before marching across campus and through the streets of Ann Arbor chanting, “Out of your homes and into the streets! We won’t be raped! We won’t be beat!”

Swider said the organization primarily works to assist survivors of assault by establishing a solid support system.

“The biggest goal we have is to celebrate surviving and let survivors know that they don’t have to feel shame and that you can get through it, and also to raise awareness so people know how to get help,” Swider said.

Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje spoke at the event and said the issue of sexual assault important in the wake of the string of sexual assaults that occurred in Ann Arbor last summer.

Kalimah Johnson, assistant professor of social work at Marygrove College and founder of the Sexual Assault Services for Holistic Healing and Awareness Center, spoke about her experience as a survivor of sexual assault and coping with the incident.

“Healing is possible — that’s the message I want to send,” Johnson said. “My goal is to come here to remind folks that one, they’re not alone, and two, they have the capacity within themselves even to just start the first step towards healing.”

Johnson added that it is especially important to spread communal awareness about sexual assault in April, which is the designated Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

“Rape and sexual assault happen under the guise of silence,” Johnson said. “The more people that know about your victimization, the more opportunities it is to help other people continue to be safe and stay safe, and so you can’t expect to solve a problem in silence.”

Many people in the crowd wore teal armbands to identify themselves as survivors of sexual assault. Among them was Ann Arbor resident Griffin Green, who said the event evoked feelings of support and empowerment.

“I’m here because I know plenty of survivors that get a chance to be able to speak out. I’m a survivor, and it’s just a really good experience being able to see people get together and fight for the same thing,” Green said.

LSA sophomore Gia Tammone said her membership in F-Word, a feminist activist group, influenced her choice to attend Take Back The Night.

“I am participating because I think that sexual violence is a really important issue that society still struggles with, and it’s something that women are still very much afraid of, and it holds women back from really living the lives that they would want to live,” Tammone said.

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