Safe Passage to host ‘Take Back the Night’ event

Take Back the Night event poster

Courtesy of Lynnea Laskowski

‘Take Back the Night’ event poster

By Brandon Montemayor , Lifestyle writer

DeKALB — Support Sexual Assault Awareness Month with Safe Passage, DeKalb County’s domestic violence and sexual assault crisis center, and their “Take Back the Night” event. Taking place from 6  to 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Faranda’s parking lot, 302 Grove St., the event will raise awareness of sexual violence while providing a platform for survivors to voice their stories. 

“It’s a chance for survivors to come and share their story or whatever message they want the community to know,” said Lynnea Laskowski, communication and prevention services director for Safe Passage. “And it’s a chance for the community to be there and remember that this is an issue that still affects our community and to show survivors that we care.”

There will be no sign up or pre-registration for the event. Anyone is welcome to speak and share their stories if they feel comfortable to do so. 

Opening up a necessary dialogue between survivors and their communities on an issue that while, swept under the rug, is nonetheless prevalent. Studies from both the  CDC and the National Center for Transgender Equality  show that,  1 in 3 women, 1 in 4 men and 47% of trans individuals have experienced sexual violence during their lifetime.

“A lot of people don’t realize just how widespread issues of sexual assaults are in our community because it is that trauma that a lot of people don’t talk about,” Laskowski said. Laskowski adds that as a community we should come together to create an air of honesty about the issues that exist, work to try and fix them and let sexual violence survivors know they are not to be blamed or made to feel ashamed. 

Safe Passage also wants to set the expectation with NIU that sexual violence should not happen in our communities or campuses, and that if it does, those survivors deserve support every step of the way. Support can come as easy as trusting and believing those who have been affected by sexual violence.

“I think we want attendees to leave understanding the importance of believing survivors.” Laskowski said. Stressing the importance of that trust and how it can go as far as helping survivors be able to come forward and share their stories. 

For more information about “Take Back the Night,” visit the event page.  To get involved with or support Safe Passage, visit their website

If you or someone you know is being or has been affected by sexual violence, call the Safe Passage Crisis Line (815)-756-5228 or text the messaging line (815)-393-1995.