NIU ‘makes a statement’ against nighttime violence


Deyonna Dunigan, S.I.S.T.E.R.S. Organization of NIU, recites poetry to support awareness of domestic violence at Take Back the Night on Tuesday night.

By Hailey Kurth

DeKalb community members, students and faculty gathered Tuesday night at the MLK Commons to march against sexual and nighttime violence.

“We’re waking everybody up to let them know there are times that we are going to be out at night, and it’s nobody’s business where we’re going, why we’re going, what we’re doing,” said Carrie Williams, Women’s Resource Center assistant director. “It is important that you know it is okay for you to be out at night. That’s why we’re here: to take back the night.”

Beginning at the commons, the group of men and women marched through campus, ending at the East Lagoon. Before the march, speakers from Safe Passage, Pause Off!, NIU Sexual Assault Advocate and the Women’s Rights Alliance spoke.

“You have to be a healthy, active bystander,” said senior communications major James Huizenga. “The easy thing to do is to just assume that it’s none of your business.”

Huizenga said to be a healthy active bystander, one should never put themselves in a situation that could cause them harm.

“If need be, contact the police,” Huizenga said. “That’s why they’re there. You may think you’re not doing anything then, but you are…that authority has the power to step in and do things that you cannot.”

It’s also important to know violence is not the answer, Huizenga said.

“Violence breeds more violence,” Huizenga said. “You can’t help somebody out…from the back of a cop car.”

Rebekah Kohli, Women’s Studies program coordinator, said Take Back the Night began in the 1970s as a way to raise awareness and to try to bring and end to nighttime violence, giving women a chance to “take back the night” and say they should have the right to walk at night by themselves wherever they want.

“Here on NIU’s campus, it’s really evolved into an event that makes a statement about violence in our community,” Kohli said. “It’s saying we want to end violence in our community in general against women, but also against the LGBT community, minorities and everyone.”