Take Back The Night is the earliest worldwide movement to stand against sexual violence, especially violence against women. TBTN events began in the 1960’s in Belgium and England with protests about women not feeling safe walking down the street alone at night. In 1973, in the United States, a group of women at the University of Southern Florida dressed in black sheets, held broomsticks, and marched through campus demanding a women’s center. In 1975, a crowd in Philadelphia held a Take Back The Night Event to protest the murder of a microbiologist walking home after work. In the 70’s, San Francisco had a number of rallies in protest of “snuff” pornography and violence against women. These early protests sparked hundreds of events on college campuses and in communities of all sizes and locations, all hoping to bring awareness to sexual violence and provide support for victims.
In 2001, Katie Koestner, the first woman in the US to speak out nationally and publicly on being the victim of campus “date” rape, reached out to event organizers and participants in the US and globally about uniting our efforts and sharing our history. We wanted to bring the passion, energy, and support of Take Back The Night to more communities. In establishing the Take Back The Night Foundation, the ability to share our collective history and support each other became possible. Today, our Board Members and thousands of supporters work tirelessly to provide resources, funding, and healing to as many communities as possible.
Our mission as a charitable 501(c)3 Foundation is to end sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual abuse and all other forms of sexual violence. We serve to create safe communities and respectful relationships through awareness events and initiatives. People of all backgrounds around the world are taking back their voices by speaking out against these crimes and taking a stand through Take Back The Night. Sexual violence, harassment, abuse, stalking, and trafficking continue in epidemic proportions. We have made great strides, but our march is far from over.
Take Back The Night Events have been documented in over 36 countries, in over 800 communities, with more locations taking a stand every year. We have reached over 30 million people with our message of strength and support, and our commitment to ending sexual violence.