The UNLV Jean Nidetch Women's Center is gearing up to host its annual Take Back the Night event on Oct. 5-10.
Take Back the Night — held each October to coincide with Domestic Violence Awareness Month — is an empowering event to honor the victims of domestic, sexual, dating and gender violence. The unifying theme throughout these diverse topics is the assertion that all human beings have the right to be free from violence, the right to be heard, and the right to reclaim those rights if they are violated.
For the first time in its 22-year history, UNLV has expanded its event from one to six days in an effort to provide even more opportunities to speak out against violence, remember victims, support survivors, celebrate recovery, and make the UNLV campus and Las Vegas community a safer place.
This year’s activity roster supports a national push in recent years to stamp out violence by drawing in fraternities, athletes and other young adults as allies. Activities include free self-defense classes; a panel discussion where students can ask questions; a social media and “wear purple” campaign; and bystander intervention training on behalf of Green Dot, which recently participated in a soon-to-be-aired CNN news segment filmed partially at UNLV.
Want to join the discussion? Check out a few highlighted activities below. All events are free and open to the public. Find more details and the full calendar of events here.
Monday, Oct. 5
- The Hunting Ground documentary screening. 6 p.m., Student Union Theater
Hunting Ground — an exposé on sexual assaults on United States college campuses, institutional cover-ups and the social toll on victims and their families — premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival before debuting in theaters on limited release. The 90-minute film follows survivors as they pursue their education while fighting for justice in the face of retaliation, harassment and pushback.
The screening, shown in partnership with UNLV’s National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), will be followed by a panel discussion featuring: Derric Carter, UNLV Center for Social Justice; Det. Paul Velez, UNLV Police; Barrett Morris, UNLV director of compliance; Jen Pierrot, president of Zeta Phi Beta sorority and the UNLV NPHC; Jordan McConnell, president of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity; and Andrea Parashos, UNLV CARE advocate.
Tuesday, Oct. 6
- Sexual Assault Mock Trial. 6-8:30 p.m., Moot Court Room 105 (view on campus map)
Students with UNLV’s William S. Boyd School of Law are partnering for the third year with the Women's Center on a mock trial, which gives audience members — who act as the jury — insight into the sex assault complaint process. Past mock trials focused on a heterosexual woman and a same-sex couple; this year’s fictional case will focus on a deaf student to highlight the barriers disabled students might face in the legal system.
Wednesday, Oct. 7
- Survivor Speak Out. 5 p.m., Pida Plaza
UNLV’s Social Work Club and Marriage & Family Therapy Honor’s Society lead an open forum for those touched by sex assault to share survivorship stories in a show of unity, cathartic release, and empowerment. Event kicks off with a balloon release with written messages of forgiveness and strength, quotes, and more attached. To be followed by a candlelight vigil and healing circle.
NOTE: Media are asked to respect survivors’ privacy by refraining from filming faces without permission.
Thursday, Oct. 8
- Take Back The Night March. 5 - 5:30 p.m., Student Union courtyard
The march is UNLV’s Take Back the Night signature event. It follows a resource fair from 1-5 p.m. in the same location featuring community and campus information booths, interactive activities such as poster- and survivor bracelet-making stations, giveaways, a concert featuring nationally known spoken word artists and student performers, and addresses by university officials.
The school band will kick off the march by students and staff around campus while they chant inspirational messages and hold a banner, glow sticks, and a purple paper chain bearing messages from survivors and supporters.