International History of TBTN

Events through the Decades

Take a tour of TBTN Events through 60+ years. Witness our collective journey through marches, rallies, protests, speak-outs and initiatives toward ending sexual violence in all forms. Our early events spotlighted violence against women in mostly European and North American countries. Through the decades, our movement has expanded to embrace survivors of all gender identities from all backgrounds across the continents.

1970s

In the 70s, incidents of violence against women in Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Los Angeles garnered media attention. In 1972, women at the University of Southern Florida donned witches’ brooms and black capes, marching through campus to demand resources and safety for women. In 1973, San Francisco citizens protested violent “snuff” pornography films. In 1975, Philadelphia residents rallied after microbiologist Susan Alexander Speeth was stabbed to death on a sidewalk after work. In 1976, a Tribunal Council of women from 40+ countries met in Belgium to advocate for the safety of women on the street. 

An article on the Philadelphia Inquirer titled "West Philadelphia posted to Take Back the Night"

Philadelphia Inquirer, 1975

TBTN San Francisco

San Francisco, 1978; Photo by Suzanne Lacy

Ohio State University 1979 TBTN

Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 1979

TBTN San Francisco Suzanne Lacy

San Francisco, 1978; Photo by Suzanne Lacy

Boston, MA, 1979; Photo by Spencer Grant

Wellington, New Zealand, 1979

1980s

In 1980, Laura Lederer authored and released Take Back The Night: Women On Pornography analyzing the status of gendered violence at the time. Through the 80s, hundreds of colleges and universities in North America began holding marches and rallies on their campuses. The Vancouver Rape Relief held Take Back The Night marches from 1980-1985. In 1981, The Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centers declared the third Friday of September to be the evening for Take Back The Night marches nationwide. In 1989, the so-called “Antifeminist Mass Murderer from Montreal” killed 14 women and injured 10 more, igniting protests across Canada.

TBTN Harvard 1980

Harvard University, Radcliffe, Cambridge, MA, 1980

TBTN New Orleans 1980

Sandra Karp, New Orleans, LA, 1980

TBTN Los Angeles 1986

Los Angeles, CA, 1986

TBTN Los Angeles 1986

Los Angeles, CA, 1986

TBTN Los Angeles 1986

Los Angeles, CA, 1986

TBTN NC State University 1987

NC State University, Raleigh, NC, 1987; Photo by Marc Kawanish

1990s

In the 90s, from feisty rallies to respectable walks, thousands of Take Back The Night Event holders decided how to affect change, take a stand within their own communities and culture, and share their stories. Events ranged from girl rock band concerts and clanging pots and pans on marches to candlelight vigils and chapel speak-outs. Activists changed policies, laws, and handbooks, word by word, to ensure victims’ rights and consent-based definitions of sexual violence. 

Columbia University TBTN 1990

Columbia University, New York City, NY, 1990

Susquahanna University, Selinsgrove, PA, 1992

Taos, NM, 1996

Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., 1996

Meredith College 1994 TBTN

Meredith College, Raleigh, NC, 1994

Barnard TBTN 1995

Barnard College, New York City, NY, 1995

TBTN Columbia University 1996

Columbia University, New York City, NY, 1996

2000s

TBTN Events expanded to smaller towns in more remote communities. In 2001, TBTNF came into existence, with leadership from Katie Koestner and committed volunteers, uniting Event holders and participants.  Corporations and professional sports teams began holding events to educate their employees and players. Survivors identifying as male and other genders walked, marched, and shared their stories alongside those identifying as female. From its outset, TBTNF firmly supported the diverse voices of all survivors.

California State University, Los Angeles, CA, 2003

Miami University, Miami, FL, 2002

Columbus TBTN 2022

Columbus, OH, 2002; Photo by Melissa Miller

London TBTN 2004

London, England, 2004

Loyola University, New Orleans, LA, 2003

University of Nevada, Las Vegas TBTN 2008

Jean Nidetch Women’s Center, Las Vegas, NV, 2008 

2010s

From 2-year colleges to underserved communities, Take Back The Night continued to empower more people through our walks, marches, poets, musicians, artists, and activists. Yoga studios came together to support the healing of survivors with Shine Your Light Yoga classes. Free 24/7 legal support for all became possible through our 1-800-SHATTER Hotline. Global Virtual TBTN Events gave space for diverse voices to speak and be heard across international borders.

Ann Arbors 2010 TBTN

Ann Arbor, MI, 2010

Nassau, Bahamas, 2011

Hampton Roads VA TBTN 2013

Hampton Roads, VA, 2013

University of Oregon TBTN 2013

University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, 2013

Columbia University TBTN 2014

Columbia University, New York City, NY, 2014

Dickinson College TBTN 2014

Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA, 2014

Austin Community College, Austin, TX, 2015

Stephen F Austin University TBTN 2015

Stephen F. Austin University, Nacogdoches, TX, 2015

Ann Arbor, MI, 2014

UVA, Charlottesville, VA, 2017

2020s

Powering through COVID limitations, TBTN Event holders forge ahead with innovative online rallies and asynchronous marches. Partnerships continue to blossom and grow with artists, graphic designers, musicians, jewelry makers, poets, and small businesses. From India to Nigeria, the Foundation throws aside time zones to develop lasting relationships in many corners of the globe through high-level strategic planning around cultural, religious, and governmental limitations for victims’ rights.

Illinois 2021 TBTN

Illinois, 2021

New Jersey Institute of Technology TBTN 2022

New Jersey Institute for Technology, 2022

Global Virtual TBTN 2022

Global Virtual, 2022

CONTACT US

TBTNF is a 100% volunteer non-profit organization. We work hard to respond to inquiries within 24 hours, if not sooner. To reach our Legal Support Team, please complete the intake form. For all other inquiries, complete our contact form. For immediate medical support, please call 911. For counseling support, call the RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network) Hotline at (800) 656-4673 in the US or visit our Resources section for further information.

CONTACT US

TBTNF is a 100% volunteer non-profit organization. We work hard to respond to inquiries within 24 hours, if not sooner. To reach our Legal Support Team, please complete the intake form. For all other inquiries, complete our contact form. For immediate medical support, please call 911. For counseling support, call the RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network) Hotline at (800) 656-4673 in the US or visit our Resources section for further information.

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