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    Women Take Back the Night (Gaylife article)
    Women Take Back the Night 1979
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Jim Andris, Facebook


Women Take Back the Night


Gaylife, Issue Number 5 (6/22/79), p. 9

The facts are: One in three women will be raped. One third to one half of all rapes occur in the victim's home and over 50% occur in a private residence. Of the 170 sexual assaults handled by the County Sexual Assault Unit for prosecution, 69% (117) were solved, 78 warrants were issued, and thus far four jury trials have been held. It is estimated that 50-90% of all rapes are never reported. Sexual assault victims range in age from 4 months to 92 years.

Who in this land of the free (?) and home of the brave (?) has the pompous ignorance to separate rape and the violence involved from "major” crimes? The facts listed previously wrench rape from the minor to the major league. The quantity alone of rapes committed has created an epidemic of terror among women. Then the added atrocity of possible mutilation fans these flames of fear.

Rape isn't stopped by barriers of age, color, shape, size, sex, or sexual orientation. You are not safe in your own home. Often you’re not safe with a companion or a group of people.

Very little has been done to combat this torrid crime. Few people talk about this unpleasant subject. Maybe because the one of three women raped was their sister, mother, grandmother, friend, lover, or wife. Instead of talking, planning and taking action, people have been crawling into their closets and locking out the unpleasantness of rape. Meanwhile it rages on in the real world.

Some people are choosing to fight this major crime. They are tired of fear being the center of their lives, tired of arranging their lives around this fear, tired of sometimes failing to keep themselves safe, and tired of retreating.

The "Women Take Back The Night" coalition is organizing a demonstration march called "Women Take Back The Night" for Saturday, June 9, 8:30 p.m. at Steinberg Rink, Forest Park.

The goals for the march are to involve large numbers of women of all races, classes, and ages from all over the metropolitan area, to bring the facts of rape and rape prevention to the public, to increase support and services for rape victims in the St. Louis area, to change attitudes and practices of law enforcement officials, the media, and individuals in regard to their treatment of rape and rape victims, and to identify and meet the need for self-defense education and strategies for women.

They have the support of many concerned organizations and people in this area. The Task Force On Men's Involvement will be there to provide childcare and other important services.

Together, with our determination and strength, we will take back the night.