Every two minutes, someone in the United States is sexually assaulted. Every eight minutes, someone is raped. Every 15 seconds, a woman somewhere is being beaten.
Take Back the Night at Fort Hays State University was begun 13 years ago to build awareness of these realities. This year's event at FHSU begins Monday, March 28, with an information table from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Memorial Union.
Activities are planned for throughout the week of March 28 to April 1. A Tiger Talkback Board will be in the union for people to express their views and share their insights into questions of "wellness in relationships."
Coordinated at FHSU by the Kelly Center, Take Back the Night is an international event organized in local communities for the purpose of unifying women, men and children in an awareness of violence against women, men, children and families. The event is a collaboration of community, campus and other interested persons who are ready to take a stand against violence and make the night safe for everyone. Take Back the Night rallies and marches began in England as a protest against the fear that women encountered walking the streets at night. The first Take Back the Night in the United States occurred in San Francisco in 1978.
"He/She's Just Not That Into You," a T.I.G.E.R.S. Series workshop, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 30, will provide information on "what your relationships say about you." The workshop will be in the union's Cody Commons, on the lower level.
Thursday holds a fundraiser at 6 p.m. for Northwest Kansas Domestic and Sexual Violence Services Inc. Called "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes," the event, sponsored by the Interfraternity Council, features men in high heels. Participation involves coming to the union's Sunset Lounge and bringing $5, a pair of high heels and a willingness to walk in them.
The culminating event is the fifth annual Kansas Women's Leadership Conference from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, April 1, in the Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center in Sheridan Hall on the FHSU campus.
Among the conference's many offerings are "Healthy Media Images for Girls -- A Women's Guide to Help!" and "There's No Excuse for No Defense."
"Healthy Images," presented by Chandra Daffer, community development manager for Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland, and Linda Mills, director of membership and volunteer services for Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland, will address the rising concerns of how media portray women and girls and will discuss how to advocate this topic in local communities.
"No Excuse for No Defense," presented by the FHSU Defensive Tactics Club coach Kenton Russell, also an instructor of justice studies at FHSU, will stress the importance of self-defense basics and teach both verbal and physical techniques.
Registration for the entire Women's Leadership Conference is $99, which includes lunch. To register or for more information, go to www.kansaswomensleadership.org or call FHSU's Center for Civic Leadership at 785-628-5592 or the Women's Leadership Project at 785-628-4312.
The Kelly Center provides support services for students, faculty and staff at FHSU. The website, www.fhsu.edu./kellycenter, has links to information on Take Back the Night, and to statistics and information on sexual assault and violence against women. Links are also provided to local, state and national resources for help with domestic violence, emotional abuse and sexual assault.
For more information, contact the FHSU Kelly Center at 785-628-4401.