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The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, along with Reach Counseling and Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services, is calling upon the Fox Valley to take a stand against violence as they host the 31st annual Take Back the Night.

Due to COVID-19, the event will take place virtually on Oct. 6 from 5 to 8 p.m. and is intended to bring awareness to domestic and sexual violence happening in the community, as well as the violence toward Asian and Asian American communities happening around us.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Asian and Asian American communities have experienced a rise in hate and racism. Take Back the Night aims to center their voices and experiences connected to sexual, domestic and racial violence.

Julie Thao, sexual assault victim advocate at Reach Counseling and 2021 social work graduate, considers this year’s event focus to be essential due to the many challenges created by the pandemic.

“The pandemic poses many challenges and dangers for survivors of sexual and domestic violence, especially for Asian and Pacific Islander survivors. They are experiencing increasing barriers to safety as a consequence of the coronavirus outbreak. Together, we can come together as a community to bring awareness about the issue,” Thao said.

For Shouacua Xiong, a senior human services leadership major from Sheboygan, the focus of the event has major significance because of her Hmong heritage.

“The Hmong community adds so much vibrancy to the Fox Valley area and understanding some of the domestic and sexual violence that Hmong people face will open a door for more discourse to be had on how to better support Hmong people in this community,” Xiong said. “Often we go unnoticed or go unheard and centering our voices for this night is something I am very grateful for.”

Take Back the Night is an opportunity for the community to come together annually and learn how sexual and domestic violence intersect with other forms of violence, such as racial violence, and commit to putting an end to all forms. Also, spreading awareness can help those get the help they need and prevent future instances from occurring.

Alicia Johnson, UW Oshkosh Women’s Center director, is hopeful for a great turn out for such an important event.

“We hope everyone will join us on Zoom this year as we raise awareness, honor the voices and experiences of victims and survivors and underscore the urgency for everyone in our community to take an active role to stop the violence,” Johnson said.

How to participate:

All videos and messages will be available on the Fox Valley Take Back the Night event page.

  • Click “going”and share with friends and to pages you manage.
  • “Like” the Fox Valley Take Back the Night Facebook page for event updates.
  • Share about the event with your peers on and off campus.
  • Post about the event on a variety of social media platforms using #FVTBTN.

University Books & More donated masks to support fundraising efforts for Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services and Reach Counseling. Masks will given out to people who donate $10 or more toward the $5,000 goal. Donate to get your mask while they’re available.

Learn more:

*The “Stop the Violence” artwork was created by Kalia Lor, a student at Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. The graphic depicts three characters of different ages and gender. On the far left is a young boy, on the far right is a young girl and the character in the middle is an older woman. Each of these characters wears a traditional Hmong hat. Lor wanted to include characters of different ages and genders to remind us that sexual assault and violence can happen to anyone.