“Take Back the Night” rallies are being held in college towns, large and small, statewide all month to recognize the struggles of victims of sexual assault. Tonight’s rally in Cedar Falls is being organized by Courtney Claussen, a student at the University of Northern Iowa. She says there’ll be an “open” microphone so men and women can tell their stories. There are three different acoustic music groups, a candlelight vigil, a moment of silence then a march on Cedar Falls’ business district, “The Hill,” to in her words, “stand up and take back the streets and take back the night.” Claussen is a U-N-I junior, studying social sciences. The Sioux City native says there will always be a problem with sexual violence in our society. Some claim sexual assaults are on the rise while others say awareness rallies, like tonight’s, empower more victims to come forward and report them. Claussen, who is chair of U-N-I’s Gender Equality Association, says it’s difficult to know how many such attacks are really happening. The rally is slated to start at 5 P-M with music at U-N-I’s Maucker Union, the open mic is at 7:15, the candlelight vigil is at 7:45 and the march on The Hill starts at 8.
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