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Contact: Lynn Stewart, Centenary News Service, 318-869-5120

Take Back the Night Rally Has New Look This Year at Centenary College; Public Event Set for Thursday, April 22

SHREVEPORT, LA — "Together We Can Do It...Stamp Out Sexual Violence" is the theme of this year's Take Back the Night Rally, a public event set for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 22 in Bynum Commons at Centenary College.

"Our goal for this rally is not to merely educate people about sexual assault but also to motivate them to take immediate action to combat sexual violence," said event organizer Joy Aull of the Centenary Department of Public Safety. "Our theme for the event is sexual assault around the world and at home."

The Take Back the Night Rally will feature nine booths representing different countries and other general booths on health and forensics, victim service information and alternative lifestyles. "We will also show the movie 'A Date with Darkness: The trial and Capture of Andrew Luster ' It is an original Lifetime movie about the Max Factor heir who drugged women and raped them. He was convicted on 86 counts of rape and sexual assault," Aull said.

Centenary students, faculty, staff and members of the local Sexual Assault Taskforce (VIVA) and the Northwest Louisiana Domestic Violence Taskforce will participate in the rally, as will officials from local and area organizations.

Parking will be available in lots adjacent to Wilkinson Street and on Woodlawn Avenue.

The booths, which will be located in the North Dining Hall, and the topics they will address are as follows.

Issues:(1) genital mutilation -- lighting commerative candles
(2) rape as a form of religious hate crime

Activity: "Shine the Light on Sexual Violence -- light a commerative candle

Issues: (1) Myth-based injustice for sexual assault victims
a. Italian supreme court overturned rape conviction based on the fact that the victim was wearing jeans.
b. Italian appellate court overturned a sexual battery charge because it only happened "once and impulsively"

Activity: Denim Day

Activity: sign letter to Congress

Issues: (1) Sexual Assault and torture of women under Sadaam Hussein occupation administration
(2) Current fears of women in Iraq due to a lack of security of women a priority.

Issue: (1)Rape as a form of racial hate crime

Activity: Origami stars
Issues: (1) Cultural silence regarding sexual abuse
(2) Sexual offenses by U.S. military personnel

South Africa:
Activity: Sign letter to Congress regarding the Women & Children in Conflict Protection Act
Issues: Rape of infants and children in South Africa as a result of fears regarding contracting AIDS or in a futile attempt to cure AIDS

Issue: Rape and abuse of women by Turkish police and soldiers
Activities: (1) Making a banner of handprints of people taking a stand on Violence against Women.
(2) Link to Amnesty International website to send educational virtual postcards to friends or sign up to receive updates on VAW issues.

Spanish Speaking Communities:
Activity: Write a letter to the President of Mexico and the Governor of the state of Chihuahua.
Issue: rape and murder in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

United States:
Issue: Date Rape Drugs
Activity: Distributing coasters to test for date rape drugs

Additional booths:

Health & Forensics:
Issue: Emergency Contraception for rape victims
Activity: Sign letter to Congress in support of "Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies Act.
Issue: DNA testing
Activity: Sign petition on Lifetime website for additional funding for DNA processing of rape kits and comparison samples.

Alternative Lifestyles:
Focus on sexual violence in the LGBT community

District Attorney's Office:
Victim Assistance Information

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