Students, residents march against domestic abuse


Protesters against sexual and violent crimes march down 1st St. in DeKalb Friday evening for the “Take Back The Night” March and Speak Out, hosted by Safe Passage. Signs read messages such as “Consent Is Sexy” and “Stop The Violence”.

By Alan Kozeluh

Marchers, with wind and snow in their faces and signs in their hands, walked to raise awareness of domestic violence on Friday.

Safe Passage held its annual Take Back the Night march, and marchers chanted slogans like “No means no” and “Stop the violence.” The demonstration is meant to raise awareness of domestic violence. NIU and DeKalb Police squad cars escorted the group. The march started at First Congregational United Church of Christ.

Safe Passage is a non-profit organization that advocates for victims of domestic violence. The organization gives survivors of domestic violence a chance to speak out.

When marchers returned to the church, Safe Passage staffers and domestic violence survivors spoke to the group.

“Tonight we have a task to accomplish,” Deanna Hacker, Safe Passage interim executive director, said to the assembly. “Tonight we strive to bring an end to sexual violence in this community, and everywhere.”

Richard Schmack, DeKalb County state’s attorney, showed his support at the event.

“This evening is not about politics, and it’s not about me,” Schmack said. “It’s about the survivors and their experiences.”

Brianna Mays, a survivor of sexual assault, spoke about her experience at the march.

“I know what it’s like to live with the fear of what will happen when my attacker gets out of jail,” Mays said.

Wendy Jones, who was abused by her brothers from a young age, talked about what Safe Passage meant to her.

“I never felt safe anywhere until I walked through the doors of Safe Passage,” Jones said.