Students across the nation are commemorating Sexual Assault Awareness Month with major events, rallies, and Take Back the Night events. Take Back the Night (TBTN) is a rally held internationally aimed at ending violence against women. The event also offers support to victims and survivors of rape, sexual assault, and child abuse. “[Take Back the Night] has been a vital part of my recovery from sexual assault,” said a Penn State student, according to The Digital Collegian. Women and men are encouraged to take advantage of Take Back the Night to assist in their healing process, Digital Collegian reports.
James Madison University in Virginia recently held their seventh annual TBTN along with a candlelight vigil with a student march through campus, “breaking the silence and making their voices heard,” according to the JMU Women’s Resource Center. JMU students also participated in the Clothesline Project, a display of t-shirts made by the victims and survivors of violence. Dartmouth College used a Take Back the Night March to bring together women, men, and children in the campus and community “to take a stand against violence and make the night safe for everyone,” according to Dartmouth College, located in New Hampshire.
Many community groups are also planning events for National Sexual Assault Awareness Month and urging students and community members to get involved in the activities. The DC Rape Crisis Center is holding events and workshops throughout the month of April aimed at empowering women and educating the community. A Take Back the Night March and Rally will be held on April 26 in Washington D.C.
Media Resources: Dartmouth College press release 3/22/03; JMU Women’s Resource Center 4/2/03; The Digital Collegian 4/18/02; D.C. Rape Crisis Center 4/2003
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .