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Survivors of violence ‘Take Back the Night’ Thursday

A multi-ethnic dance troupe, a woman who uses masks to reflect the changes that a survivor of sexual violence experiences, a rallying march around Corydon, and an opportunity for healing through public testimony will be featured at ‘Take Back the Night,’ a three-hour series of events Thursday on the square in Corydon.
‘Take Back the Night,’ a public statement against domestic and sexual violence that originated in Germany in 1973 and now happens all over the world, is sponsored by the Harrison County Coordinating Council Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, the Center for Women and Families, Hoosier Hills PACT, and the Comfort House.
Lisa McSpadden, formerly an officer with Comfort House in Milltown and now Indiana outreach and family advocate for the Center for Women and Families in Corydon and Marengo, said, ‘Take Back the Night’ will enable victims of sexual assault and domestic violence and others to let their voices be heard.
‘There are a lot of people out there whose lives have been impacted by sexual violence,’ McSpadden said. ‘This will also allow the public to lend its support to the victims, their families and those who work against sexual violence. When the community comes together for them, it strengthens the healing process … It will give people a chance to stand up together and vocalize that this is not acceptable in our community.’
McSpadden said it’s impossible to predict how many people will attend a program like this but she’s hoping for at least 100 attendees. Victims of sexual and domestic violence, both men and women, their families and those who work in this area will have the opportunity to speak, sing or read during an open microphone period from 7 to 7:30 p.m. or later.
At least 10 organizations, including the coordinating council, PACT, Comfort House and others, will have activity and information booths on the square available to the public throughout the event, beginning at 5.
McSpadden will open the program at 5 at the Hurley D. Conrad Memorial Bandstand. A Proclamations will be made by Harrison Superior Court Judge Roger Davis. Davis is a long-time officer with the Harrison County Coordinating Council Against Domestic Violence.
Male involvement will be addressed from 5:15 to 5:30 p.m. by members of Crisis Connection Inc., a non-violence agency that’s active in Crawford County and several other Southern Indiana counties to the west.
At 5:30, Erin Keane of Brown County, a survivor of sexual violence and now a victim advocate, will give a mask performance that reflects the various stages a victim of sexual violence typically goes through during recovery.
About 6 p.m. the Earth Mamas Dance Troupe, of which Keane is a member, will take the stage. The Earth Mamas use music and movements from around the world to bring about positive environmental and social change. The Earth Mamas, whose members come from throughout Southern Indiana and Kentucky, have performed at the Blue River Caf’ in Milltown. They were recently featured in The Courier-Journal.
At 6:30, a solidarity march will take place along a three- or four-block perimeter of the square. Walkers will carry banners from the recent ‘Thursdays in Black’ silent demonstrations in Corydon (in observance of April being national Sexual Assault Awareness Month).
Following the opportunity for public testimony, McSpadden will close the program and ask for a moment of silence for the thousands of victims of domestic and sexual violence.
In case of rain, the program will be moved to the Harrison Center.

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