JOLIET – Women and men of all ages are invited to take a stand against sexual violence at the 15th annual Will County Take Back the Night march and rally on October 6. Take Back the Night brings survivors, supporters, activists and community leaders together in a call for the end of violence against women.
Take Back the Night 2011 is scheduled for Thursday, October 6, at 5:30 p.m. at Joliet West High School, 401 North Larkin Avenue, Joliet.
This year’s keynote speaker is Ms. Carmina Salcido, a violence survivor from Sonoma County, California. In 1989, when Carmina was three years old, her father went on a killing spree, murdering Carmina’s mother, aunts and grandmother. He then slashed the throats of his three young daughters, leaving them for dead in the county dump. Miraculously, tiny Carmina was the sole survivor. Carmina summoned the strength to find forgiveness and closure, and later went on to compete on American Idol and recently released her book, Not Lost Forever: My Story of Survival.
Take Back the Night began in Europe in 1976 and has continued throughout the world as a sign of empowerment for women, men and children. For the past 15 years, Will County Take Back the Night has hosted an annual rally to raise awareness about sexual violence and to support survivors in their healing.
The free event will also include a candlelight vigil honoring women and children from Will County who were murdered over the past ten years. The night will culminate with an energizing march down Larkin Avenue, where marchers will take the message of a violence-free world to the streets.
Will County Take Back the Night also raises funds for local agencies which assist women and their families. Last year, TBTN distributed over $8,000 of assistance to the following agencies: Bridges to a New Day, Groundwork, Lamb’s Fold Center for Women and Children, Prairie State Legal Services, Sexual Assault Services Center, USF Health and Wellness Center and the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center.
Participants are urged to participate in a pantry drive by bringing non-perishable food items, paper goods or grocery store and gas station gift cards to be collected at the event. These donations will be distributed for use by area domestic violence shelters.
A pre-event fundraiser, hosted by the office of Will County Circuit Clerk Pamela McGuire, will be held on Friday, August 26, from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Chicago Street Bar and Grill, 75 N. Chicago St., Joliet. Tickets are $25 per person and include appetizers, draft beer, soft drinks and water. The funds raised will support the costs associated with holding the vigil and march in October.
For more information, or to donate to Will County Take Back the Night, go to www.willtbtn.com or facebook.com/willtbtn, or contact committee co-chair Katrina Crone at (815) 774-7862. Will County Take Back the Night is a 501-c-3 non-profit organization.
Arrangements for the appearance of Carmina Salcido made through HarperCollins Speakers Bureau, NY, NY.