Given that one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually assaulted before the age of 18, it was very important that the Ithaca community host Take Back the Night in order to open the conversation about domestic violence and sexual assault. Though the event and the marches that preceded it were well attended by students from both Ithaca College and Cornell University, as well as by community members, it was problematic that very few community leaders were present.
Mayor Svante Myrick was not able to attend the event due to a prior engagement, and he instead had someone speak on his behalf. As the community’s leader, it is unfortunate that he couldn’t have been there to address the important issues of domestic and sexual violence.
Other community members who should have attended, but largely did not, were members of the administration of the college. Because domestic and sexual violence take place on college campuses, several leadership figures from the college should have been there to demonstrate support and recognition of these issues.
Despite the absence of these specific community members, the Advocacy Center of Tompkins County organized an eye-opening event. Even though Sexual Assault Awareness Month is coming to a close, Take Back the Night made it clear that these issues need to be recognized every day.