Here’s the Ann Arbor News’ coverage of Saturday’s Take Back the Night Rally and march:
“University of Michigan student Sarah Hews briefly scanned the story of Tamara Williams that was posted on one of several life-size cutouts on The Diag detailing the tragic events Saturday’s Take Back The Night Rally was trying to prevent.
In 1997, Williams, also a U-M student, was killed when she was slashed more than 10 times by her boyfriend. Saturday’s rally attracted about 300 people, including Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje, in an effort to draw support for the protest against sexualized violence.
“It is important to support these things,” Hews said as the rally began. “These things are what makes a difference. That’s the only way change is going to happen, is if you get people involved.”
Saturday was the 25th anniversary of Take Back The Night in Ann Arbor. The event included speakers, musicians and then a march around downtown.
Participants carried signs that read, “No Means No” and “Rape Is Not A Boundary Issue.”
According to a fact sheet distributed at the event, one in four women experience domestic violence in their lifetime, every two minutes there is a sexual assault in America and 70 percent of rape and sexual assault survivors know their offender.
Yet self-described community activist Cathryn Antkowiak-Howard said budget cuts are undermining support for sexual assault survivors.
Antkowiak-Howard pointed out that Washtenaw County’s Sexual Assault Crisis Center was closed last October, and U-M’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center has announced it will no longer provide counseling or 24-hour hot line services.
She said that leaves just the private, nonprofit SAFE House for area domestic violence services.
“We’ve gone backwards in some ways,” Antkowiak-Howard said. “For 20 some years, we had three agencies that were never at a loss for clients. Now, one will try to do the work of three.” … “
> AANews: “Protesters try to make a difference”