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Take Back the Night Planning Committee members are pictured above with WIRC-CAA Victim Services Director Diane Mayfield, Macomb Mayor Mike Inman, WIU President Jack Thomas and WIU Interpersonal Violence Prevention Initiative Coordinator Sean Dixon signing the 2012 Take Back the Night proclamation.
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UPDATE: Take Back the Night Rally Moved Indoors

October 10, 2012

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Thursday, Oct. 18:

MACOMB, IL - Because of expected inclement weather (rain and high winds) forecast for late afternoon and evening today, the Take Back the Night Resource Table Fair and Rally will be held inside on the third floor of Sherman Hall at Western Illinois University.

There will be a march to the McDonough County Courthouse if the weather allows.

The event will be held from 6:30 – 8 p.m. with the following schedule:

• 6:30 - 7 p.m. - Resource table fair and t-shirt sales

• 7 - 8 p.m. - Rally with speakers and performers

For more information, call the WIU Women's Center at (309) 298-2242, or Victim Services at (309) 837-6622.


MACOMB, IL - As part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the 23rd annual Take Back the Night (TBTN) march and rally at Western Illinois University will be held Thursday, Oct. 18.

This year's theme is "Speak Up! Speak Out! Speak Now!" The event is sponsored by the Western Illinois University Women's Center and the Western Illinois Regional Council-Community Action Agency (WIRC-CAA) Victim Services Program, along with numerous campus and community offices and organizations.

According to TBTN 2012 Planning Committee Chair and Women's Center Graduate Assistant Katelin Mey, the event is held each year to increase awareness of, and seek to end, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and other forms of power-based interpersonal violence, as well as to remember and honor victims and survivors.

University Counseling Center and Victim Services staff and volunteers will be available at the march and rally to talk with participants.

TBTN 2012 will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Sherman Hall circle drive with resource table displays by campus and community offices and organizations that provide violence prevention efforts and survivor support services. T-shirt and light sticks will also be sold.

The rally begins at 7 p.m. on the steps of Sherman Hall with a reading of the proclamation, which has been signed by WIU President Jack Thomas, Macomb Mayor Mike Inman, WIU Interpersonal Violence Prevention Initiative (IVPI) Coordinator Sean Dixon and Victim Services Director Diane Mayfield, followed by featured speakers, performers and remarks by campus and community resource providers.

This year's guest speakers will be Kiryn Evans, RN, BSN and Sean Dixon. Evans is the daughter of Kathryn Baxter Simmons, who was a registered nurse at McDonough District Hospital in Macomb for 12 years before she became a fatal victim of domestic violence in 2003.

Dixon, who was named IVP Coordinator in July, earned his master's degree in education at WIU (2010) and his bachelor's degree in mass communications from Illinois State University (1989). He has worked in the department of educational and interdisciplinary studies as an adjunct instructor since 2010. He has also worked as the assistant director for the Center for the Study of Masculinities and Men's Development (CSMMD) since it was established in 2011.

The march will begin at approximately 7:30 p.m. at Sherman Circle and will end at Chandler Park, where the rally will continue with a survivor speak-out, remarks from several student leaders about ways students can get involved in interpersonal violence prevention and a closing musical performance.

WIU students Miriam "Mimi" Brabham and Eryka Darey will serve as emcees for this year's event. WIU students Shaneka Craig, Tuesdai Perry and Tom Fairbanks will perform an interpretive dance, a dramatic reading and a song, respectively.

Anyone who would like to participate but is unable to walk the route may contact the Women's Center prior to the march to sign up for a ride.

Participants may buy light sticks for $1 each and make a suggested $2 donation for luminaries to carry in the march and place at the rally location in Chandler Park in honor of victims and survivors of rape, incest, domestic violence, sexual abuse and other forms of sexual violence. Take Back the Night t-shirts will be available for $12 for WIU students and $14 for non-students. Shirts will also be available at the Women's Center, Multicultural Center 209, and will be sold in the University Union Concourse from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Oct. 15-17.

"Please tell your friends, family, organization members, students, staff, faculty and Macomb community members about TBTN and encourage them to attend the march and rally," Mey said. "It is a memorable and powerful experience, and is an opportunity to come together and take a stand against interpersonal violence in our streets and our community. We hope many will participate, and we encourage groups to bring their own banners to carry during the march and proudly declare their support of, and presence at, the event."

According to Women's Center Director Janine Cavicchia, who also serves as the IVPI project director, the event has grown from about 40 participants the first year to include more than 500 women, men and children in recent years.

"Our campus and community event has become the largest in the state of Illinois," Cavicchia said. "We invite and encourage attendance by WIU, Macomb High School and Spoon River College students and employees, and other members of the Macomb and surrounding communities who are interested in learning more about what they can do to speak out and help end interpersonal violence."

The WIRC-CAA Victim Services program provides free and confidential services in a safe environment for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Hancock, Henderson, McDonough and Warren counties. The agency's trained staff are ready to provide emergency services, advocacy, counseling, professional training and public education.

For more information, contact Mey at the Women's Center (309) 298-2242 or via e-mail at, or WIRC-CAA Victim Services at (309) 837-6622.

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