Take Back the Night
Take Back the Night, often abbreviated to TBTN, is a march that takes place every April during which students protest sexual violence.
In a reversal of the historical direction of sexual segregation, men were banned from taking part in the event for many years. Since 2008, they have been allowed to participate in the march, although they may not lead it.
According to a group member, "any woman or man from any undergraduate or graduate program of Columbia University can join Take Back the Night, or simply stop in and visit during our meetings". Men interested in working on these issues with TBTN are also welcome to contact Columbia Men Against Violence.
Take Back the Night is a national movement that began in Belgium in 1976. At first, the movement was primarily concerned with the role of pornography in perpetuating violence against women. Today, however, on many college campuses nationwide, student-run Take Back the Night chapters largely focus on sexual assault and domestic violence. The first march at Columbia University was organized at Barnard College as a product of a Seven Sisters conference. The march was held in April of 1988, with a participation of nearly 200 students. Since then, march attendance has grown every year. Take Back The Night has also expanded in terms of the activities it offers, as well as broadening the focus of the group to include domestic violence in addition to sexual assault and rape. The march and speakout are the culmination of a year’s worth of programming about these issues.