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Take Back the Night/Angel Walk raises awareness of domestic violence

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Posted: Thursday, April 19, 2012 11:03 am

More than 500 people will come together to raise awareness about domestic violence at the annual Take Back the Night rally and Angel Walk at Indiana University Kokomo.

The rally begins at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, in Alumni Hall, Kelley Student Center. The one-mile Angel Walk begins at 6 p.m.

Participants will hear a moving story from a domestic violence survivor at the rally. It is very uplifting and supportive for survivors and attendees, and it is also important to hear the story, Kathryn Stremeicki, coordinator of programming and applied learning, said.

“Domestic violence could happen to anyone,” she said. “Hearing the survivor’s story, understanding the signs, and knowing where to get help are crucial and beneficial to fixing this problem.”

The Angel Walk begins on campus and moves north on Washington Street toward Washington School, where walkers will circle the block and head back to campus. The walk takes place rain or shine.

The IU Kokomo American Democracy Project and the Family Service Association of Howard County sponsor the event, which raises money for the FSA’s domestic violence shelter. Participants raised nearly $30,000 in 2011, and they have set the goal higher for this year.

Stremiecki helps plan the event each year and enjoys partnering with the community and giving back.

“Take Back the Night is a really great cause,” she said. “The domestic violence shelter is a fantastic community resource that needs our support.”

Teams have raised funds the last three weeks. The total raised will be announced at the rally. Money collection starts at 4 p.m. Tuesday in the Kelley Center, Room 130. The top individual fundraisers and the top team fundraisers within the community and campus will receive prizes after the Angel Walk.

A reception will follow the walk in Alumni Hall, featuring local musicians Gary and Jessica Rhum, refreshments, and an opportunity to view poster presentations about domestic violence.

IU Kokomo campus clubs and organizations also play a big role in the development and support of Take Back the Night each year. The New Media Academic Club held a graphic design competition for this year’s Take Back the Night logo. Students in Free Enterprise conducted several career training workshops for shelter residents, and Phi Sigma Sigma held a silent auction to contribute to fund raising.

“It is great to see the campus and community come together to put on an amazing event,” Stremiecki said. “It’s all about building relationships and helping each other.”

Take Back the Night is an international rally and march organized within local communities. The event began in Europe as a protest against the fear women felt walking the streets at night. April is also Sexual Assault Awareness month and National Child Abuse Prevention month.

For additional information regarding Take Back the Night, contact Kathryn Stremiecki at kwidman@iuk.edu or 765-455-9491.