Saturday, April 29, 2017

The 30th anniversary of the Take Back The Night March- Wichita, KS

By SJ Otto
Every year the Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center holds its Take Back the Night March. This year was the 30 anniversary of this march. The crowd was not as big as it was from some earlier marches, it was less than 1,000, but there was still an enthusiastic crowd, Friday night, at the Exploration Place, of Wichita, KS.  
A rally was held at Exploration Place and then the marchers went down McLean Blvd.

At the lead of the rally was a band of Wichita West High School band students. At the rally, the students presented a check for a donation to the Sexual Assault Center. Some students from Wichita North High School helped with the contribution.

At the rally there were several victims of sexual assault speaking out, including Sarah, a victim who said she lost her job and some friends after she was a rape victim.
"There were some angles," she said. "There was a policeman, a victim rights coordinator, a Wichita psychologist."
There was a poet who called himself Popeye, who is a man who was rapped by a woman. He said it is hard for other men to realize that a woman can rape a man. Many don't men don't take it seriously.
" She's the reason I have no confidence when things go south," he said.
Another man who was an assault victim called himself Mr. T. He stressed the need for more volunteers to the Sexual Assault Center.
"Women have the right to get drunk pass out and even sleep naked without sexual assault or rape," he said.
Kara was another poet. She is 20 and goes to Wichita State University.
"I was assaulted more than once," she said.
Brittney was another victim who said her first husband was a sex addict and he insisted she give him what he wanted for 16 years whether she wanted it or not.
"I learned to be silent," she said. I learned from a therapist not to be silent."
One victim who did use her name is Chantel Plautz, who operates Hope For The Soul Ministries. She survived a family where stripping and pornography were considered normal. They also considered it normal to sexually assault her as early as six years old. Her ministry stresses turning to Christianity and Biblical spirituality.
All through the speeches several themes emerged:
"No means no. It is a full sentence."
"It is not your fault, if you are a victim of sexual assault."
"Go from being a victim to a survivor."
"I deserve better than to be treated like this."

And finally no one has a right to another person's body. It is not theirs to take advantage of.  

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