Rally tries to raise awareness, offer support

Adrienne Vietch was at a party in her hometown of Toledo, Ohio, when she was drugged and abducted by three men who took her to a car and raped her.

Although Vietch survived the brutal attack, she was left with emotional scars that will remain with her for a lifetime.

As part of her recovery process, Vietch will be the principle guest speaker at the “Take Back the Night” rally Oct. 14, where she will speak about her attack and sexual assault awareness.

Take Back the Night is an international rally organized to raise awareness about violence against women.

Vietch will speak at 7 p.m. in Otto Budig Theater, followed by speakers from Northern Kentucky University’s Women’s Crisis Center and Health, Counseling and Prevention Services departments.

At 8:45 p.m. a candlelit march will proceed from the University Center to Norse Commons where a pan-Hellenic rally will take place. Participants will then have a chance to read poems, quotes or speak out about their struggles or concerns regarding violence against women.

“This can be a very powerful, emotional experience,” said Megan Cermak, wellness coordinator for the university and one of the event organizers.

After the rally, the march will be led back to the University Center for a group discussion.

Participants will have a chance to ask Vietch any questions, to share their own experiences or to speak with counselors.

Cermak said, “I think it’s important for everyone in the community to get involved with Take Back the Night. Sexual assault and domestic violence affect everyone and this gives people a chance to empower and protect themselves.”

Although NKU has participated in Take Back the Night in the past, event organizers hope to make this year’s event even bigger.

“By joining forces with the Women’s Crisis Center, Health, Counseling and Prevention Services and NKU’s Greek organization, hopefully we will have a great turnout,” Cermak said.

“And the guest speaker has a phenomenal story – she is young, and I think she will really relate to the audience.”

NKU is not the only university holding the rally. Over 200 colleges and universities across the United States and Canada participate or have participated in Take Back the Night.

The rally has been held annually since 1978 with the first march in San Francisco.

For more information about the history of Take Back the Night visit www.campusoutreachservices.com.