Grab a flashlight, a candle, a glowstick, a lighter, the awesome flashlight app on your phone -- because tonight is 10 Points of Light to Take Back The Night. On the last Thursday of April, The Take Back The Night Foundation celebrate hope and healing by encircling the US with a circular glow of support. People from all over are headed out to the city streets, the country roads, and the night sky with our vigil candles to burn away the pain, the shame and the blame. We are letting go of the embarrassment, the darkness, the secrets.
If you don't have a story of your own, venture out to support those who do. This night is for everyone who has been hurt by sexual violence and everyone who stands against sexual violence. Our 10 Points of Light for 2015 are: Carroll College in Helena, Montana; Central New Mexico Community College in Albuquerque, NM; Claremont Colleges near Los Angeles; Fordham University in New York City; McHenry County College about an hour from Chicago; Moraine Park Tech in Wisconsin; Temple University in Philadelphia; Rutgers University Campus in Newark, NJ; University of North Texas just north of Dallas; and the University of Washington in Seattle. Each location has their own unique agenda, but what will draw us together will be the Vigil Light we will all shine tonight as a beacon of hope toward a ending sexual violence.
In Philly, you can glow in the dark with shirts and wristbands as they "Walk the Walk" and do more than "talk the talk." Starting from Temple University, people of all ages from colleges and communities surrounding the city will take to the street at 6pm. Similarly, those at Rutgers are also wearing glow-in-the-dark gear. Their Walk the Walk Route circles their campus three times to represent ending sexual violence at three levels: one for the university, next for the state of New Jersey, and finally for the US and entire globe. At Fordham's two campuses they lead their Walks with giant 10 foot banners to give notice of the purpose of the event to all they pass along the way.
McHenry College in IL and Moraine Park in WI bring awareness to the midwest. Sexual violence can happen in small towns as easily as big cities. At Carroll College in Montana they are holding their first TBTN ever tonight. On the West Coast, at the University of Washington and the Claremont Colleges, powerful poetry and live music rock their events.
Southwestern United States has Central New Mexico Community College and the University of North Texas to shed light and show support. CNMCC's faculty wanted to be one of the 10 POL because their community is small and lacks the resources of larger communities. In contrast, UNT is the fifth largest university in Texas, and their students wanted to shine some Lone Start State Light for Take Back The Night.
If you can't physically get to one of our locations, we hope you'll become a Fan of TBTN on our site (www.takebackthenight.org), follow us on Twitter, or Facebook with us. We have events happening in Japan, Afghanistan, Canada, Paris, the Caribbean, Australia and hundreds of communities throughout the US. There is no one day to end sexual violence. There is just our continued effort, night and day, through out the year. We are always open, never closed. We ask everyone to Shine Your Light because we will only end sexual violence together. Tonight is the night! Take Back The Night. Shine Your Light!
This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post and Take Back the Night in conjunction with Sexual Assault Awareness Month. To learn more about Take Back the Night and how you can help prevent sexual violence, visit here. Read all posts in the series here.
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-866-331-9474 or text "loveis" to 77054 for the National Dating Abuse Helpline.