Area residents can take a stand over violence against women at a rally at Stinson Park Thursday.
“The reality is that there are people out there who choose to do horrible things to other people, and it's somewhat accepted that these things happen,” event planner Hali Barber said.
She and others hope to raise awareness of sexual abuse and domestic violence at Stinson Park in Aksarben Village from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. during Take Back the Night. The rally will be for abuse victims, survivors and supporters.
The University of Nebraska at Omaha's Women's Resource Center is sponsoring the event.
The Take Back the Night Foundation is an organization seeking to end sexual violence through awareness events. The group formed in 1975 in Philadelphia after citizens staged a rally when Susan Alexander Speeth was stabbed to death by a stranger while walking home alone.
“These kinds of crimes are surrounded by silence and shame and that's what makes them such a problem,” Barber said.
According to the group, one out of six women has been a victim of rape or attempted rape, one out of four has experienced domestic violence, and about one-third of female homicides are perpetrated by an intimate partner. Sexual abuse and domestic violence crimes tend to have low reporting rates.
The Take Back the Night rally will feature information booths on community resources, an opportunity for survivors to share stories and a candlelight vigil for victims.
Barber, a graduate student at UNO, said some stories might be hard to hear, but those who go will be surprised by how uplifting it is to see people speak out.
“Just showing up to support can mean so much to victims and survivors,” she said.
Other participating organizations include the Women's Center for Advancement, the Domestic Violence Council, Methodist Health System and the Women's Fund of Omaha.