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VSU takes back the night

Valdosta State concluded Sexual Assault Awareness Month Wednesday evening with its annual Take Back the Night ceremony in front of the university’s main campus.

Take Back the Night (TBTN) is an annual event at VSU that has been going on since 2006, bringing about sexual assault awareness among college students.

This year, TBTN consisted mainly of a candlelight vigil and a march in honor of sexual awareness month.

The guest speaker who left a lasting impression on the hearts of many at TBTN was Jamie Wells, whose own daughter was raped and murdered years ago.

Wells spoke vividly of the colorful life her daughter lead up until the tragic event that ended her life and concluded her speech with a warning to all about the dangers of sexual assault.

“It can happen to anyone,” Wells said. “A person, especially a female, needs to remain ready at all times.”

Wells went on to express how the traumatizing events have changed her life to this day.

“A sexual assault can be fatal,” Wells said.  “However, evil cannot kill a loving spirit.”

The Know it Forward program and the Jeans for Justice line were also represented at TBTN.

The Know it Forward Program is a social media campaign that strives to achieve public awareness about sexual assault.

A public relations representative from the Verizon company was on site promoting Know it Forward throughout the evening.

Jeans for Justice has become a worldwide policy over the last year that represents victims of sexual assaults.

Over 100 pairs of jeans were donated by VSU students and the surrounding community this year and were decorated and hung around campus in memory of assault victims.

The march that preceded the ceremony was done in observance of all the hanging, donated jeans and the messages that were painted on them.

This year was the first year that Rape Aggression Defense Counselor, Holly Wright, has hosted the event solo.

“I am thrilled to see how many people have turned out to recognize TBTN,” Wright said. “It speaks volumes about how our student body is so dedicated to honorable causes such as this.”

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