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In Eugene, 'Take Back the Night' will rally for survivors of sexual and domestic violence

Marchers proceed past the University of Oregon's fraternity row at last year's Take Back the Night rally.
Jasmine Lewin
Marchers proceed past the University of Oregon's fraternity row at last year's Take Back the Night rally. Organizers say this year's march will be 2.5 miles long.

The 46th annual "Take Back the Night" march will begin at the University of Oregon Thursday evening.

The event aims to give survivors of sexual and domestic violence a chance to speak out. This year’s theme is the duality of rage and joy that can be felt during the healing process.

"There is no correct way to sort of handle your emotions while you're healing through trauma," said Maggie Bertrand, the Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Coordinator with the UO's Women's Center. "Sometimes our feelings are going to be messy and complicated, and that is completely okay."

The event is open to students and community members, including survivors and allies. Bertrand with said she hopes to encourage dialogue between friends and family about these experiences.

“We are doing our best with this event, with its radical vulnerability, to go against a culture of silence," said Bertrand.

Fatima Pervaiz, the Director of UO’s Women's Center, said the event will highlight student speakers from marginalized and underrepresented groups.

She said the rally could give community members the words to express their experiences, or draw attention to harmful actions that might be overlooked—like sharing someone's nude photos without their consent.

“It's truly a transformational event, as well as an educational one, that ultimately can lead to preventing future harm,” she said.

This year’s march comes as multiple UO fraternities are under investigation for alleged druggings, and as the university's administration has faced criticism over its handling of those incidents.

Pervaiz said event organizers weren't aware of these issues until late into the planning process. But she said Greek-lettered and athletic clothing have long been discouraged at the march, as they can be triggering to some survivors.

The rally will begin at 6 p.m. at the Erb Memorial Union, followed by a march through Eugene at 7 p.m., and a student-led speak-out at 8 p.m.

map showing route of March
UO Women's Center
According to organizers, the march will take the following routes:
  • Moves South down University St.
  • Turns West at the North edge of the campus cemetery
  • Turns South at the West edge of the campus cemetery
  • Turns West onto East 18th
  • Turns North onto Alder
  • Turns East onto 15th
  • Turns North onto Kincaid
  • Turns West onto 11th
  • Turns South onto Mill
  • Turns East onto 14th
  • Turns North onto Kincaid
  • Turns East onto 13th
  • Enters UO campus and returns to the Erb Memorial Union

Nathan Wilk joined the KLCC News Team in 2022. He is a graduate from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. Born in Portland, Wilk began working in radio at a young age, serving as a DJ and public affairs host across Oregon.