TBTN History

Historic Journey

Below is a brief summary of our journey toward ending sexual violence. While our journey began with spotlighting violence against women, our present-day mission recognizes and embraces survivors of all gender identities from all backgrounds around the world. 

 

Global First

Take Back The Night is the earliest worldwide effort to combat sexual violence and violence. In the 70’s, the issue of violence against women became a topic of public conversation when incidents in Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Los Angeles garnered media attention. In 1972, a group of women at the University of Southern Florida marched through campus demanding resources and safety for women. In 1973, San Francisco citizens protested violent “snuff” pornography films. In October 1975, Philadelphia’s citizens held a public march after the murder of microbiologist Susan Alexander Speeth, who was stabbed to death on the sidewalk near her home after work. In 1976, a tribunal council of women from dozens of countries met in Belgium to discuss unsafe conditions for women.

1970s

“Take Back The Night” was used as the title of a 1977 memorial read by Anne Pride at an anti-violence rally in Pittsburgh.

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

Philadelphia Inquirer, 1975.

San Francisco, 1978. Photo by Suzanne Lacy.

San Francisco, 1978. Photo by Suzanne Lacy.

San Francisco, 1978. Photo by Suzanne Lacy.

Boston, 1979. Photo by Spencer Grant.

Wellington, New Zealand, 1979.

1980s

One of our Board members, Laura Lederer, titled her book, published in 1980, Take Back The Night: Women On Pornography to showcase and analyze the current status of gendered violence.

Harvard University, Radcliffe, 1980.

Sandra Karp, New Orleans, 1980.

Los Angeles, 1986.

Los Angeles, 1986.

Los Angeles, 1986.

NC State University, 1987. Photo by Marc Kawanish.

1990s

Take Back The Night Events grew across the U.S. and abroad to include hundreds of campuses and their activists working to support survivors and change policies and laws.

Columbia University, 1990. 

Susquahanna University,
April 30 1992.

Taos, New Mexico, 1996.

GeorgetownU Program, 1996.

Meredith College, 1994.

Barnard, 1995.

Columbia University, 1996.

2000s

Additional communities from entire cities, like Madison, WI, to corporations embraced the mission of ending sexual violence and supporting survivors. Survivors identifying as male and other genders walked, marched, and shared their stories alongside those identifying as female. Take Back The Night firmly supported these diverse voices.

California State University, TBTN Flyer, 2003.

Miami University, TBTN Poster, 2002.

Columbus, 2002. Photo by Melissa Miller.

London, 2004.

Loyola University, New Orleans, 2003.

Jean Nidetch Women’s Center, October 2, 2008. 

2010s

From 2-year colleges to marginalized communities, Take Back The Night continued to reach more people with the empowerment of our walks, marches, poets, musicians, artists, and activists. Our firm commitment to the power of healing through the multi-dimensional spaces of yoga and artistic expression encouraged more to find solidarity and a voice for both survivors and supporters.

Ann Arbor, 2010.

Bahamas, Nassau, 2011.

Hampton Roads, VA, 2013.

University of Oregon, 2013.

Columbia University, 2014.

Dickinson College, 2014.

Austin Community College, 2015.

Stephen F. Austin University, 2015.

Ann Arbor, TBTN Flyer, 2014.

UVA, 2017.

Foundation

The TBTN Foundation was organized in 2001 under the leadership of Katie Koestner, the first woman in the US to come forward nationally and publicly as the victim of campus “date” rape. The goal was to form a hub for information sharing, resources, and support for both survivors and event holders. The TBTNF vision is to create a network of committed Chapters and followers who support ending sexual violence for all people around the globe. We seek to educate and change policies and cultural norms to create cultures of respect in every space and place around the world. Please contact us to create a Chapter.

Present Day Vision

TBTNF has added over 300 event holders in the last few years. We are thrilled to welcome more diverse communities every year. Our “Shine Your Light Yoga” events, “Bike for the Night” events, 5K “Glow Runs,” and community walks are bringing more people to our cause. Join our passionate and committed volunteers and interns here. TBTNF welcomes the creative vision and passion of all who end sexual violence in all forms and support survivors in their healing.

CONTACT US

TBTNF is a 100% volunteer organization. We do our best to respond to inquiries within 24 hours, if not sooner. TBTNF has victims' rights attorneys to provide Legal Assistance for survivors. Please complete the intake form. For all other inquiries, complete our contact form. If you are in need of immediate medical or legal support, please call 911. If you are in need of counseling support, please call (855) 598-4086 in the US or visit our Resources section for further information.

CONTACT US

TBTNF is a 100% volunteer organization. We do our best to respond to inquiries within 24 hours, if not sooner. TBTNF has victims' rights attorneys to provide Legal Assistance for survivors. Please complete the intake form. For all other inquiries, complete our contact form. If you are in need of immediate medical or legal support, please call 911. If you are in need of counseling support, please call (855) 598-4086 in the US or visit our Resources section for further information.

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