PRINCETON — Women’s organized protests against violence began in the late 1970s in England with Take Back the Night marches. These women-only protests emerged in direct response to the violence that women encountered as they walked the streets at night. These activities became more coordinated and soon developed into a movement that extended to the United States, and in 1978, the first Take Back the Night events in the United States were held in San Francisco and New York City. Over time, sexual assault awareness activities expanded to include the issue of sexual violence against men and men’s participation in ending sexual violence.
The month of April has been designated Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) in the United States. The goal of SAAM is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence.
Freedom House will be hosting a Take Back the Night event at 6 p.m. on April 29 at the Nelson Chapel, 446 Elm Place in Princeton. The event will feature survivors who will share their personal stories. Keynote speaker for Take Back the Night is Kristi Gleim from Streator. Gleim is a licensed clinical social worker for the Illinois Department of Corrections with vast experience in providing therapy to and advocacy for trauma survivors. She has provided training to staff, volunteers, social service providers and law enforcement relative to trauma-related issues and has served on state-wide committees formulating public policy and legal recommendations relative to persons with disabilities. Gleim has more than 11 years of experience as a legal and medical advocate, adolescent and adult counselor, and mental health professional, providing services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Gleim is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Law with a Juris-Doctorate and has 13 years of experience in all aspects of litigation in the Chicago area.
The event will also feature the Silence Witness and Clothes Line Project. There will be a resource fair of community agencies as well as music and refreshments.
The event is free and open to the public.