Monday, April 22, 2013

Anti-violence march emboldens women

The 35-degree wind chill couldn’t keep 19-year-old Ciara Woodcock from the annual “Take Back the Night” march at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Friday night’s march, now in its sixth year at the university, focuses on preventing violence against women. It’s designed to empower women, encourage them to speak out and foster an atmosphere of healing.

“It’s something important to stand up for. It doesn’t matter if it’s a little cold,” said Woodcock,” a freshman from Pawnee.

Estimates from the U.S. Centers on Disease Control and Prevention are that 20 percent to 25 percent of college women in the United States have experienced a rape or an attempted rape during their college career.

“While we care about violence against all persons, we recognize that sexual violence and relationship violence is much more likely to happen to women and girls,” said Lynn Otterson, director of the UIS Women’s Center.

In addition to the march, activities at UIS Friday included survivors’ stories, music and poetry.

The story was featured by The State Journal-Register on April 20, 2013.

Read the story online