Community gathers for annual Take Back the Night - Tucson News Now

Community gathers for annual Take Back the Night

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Dozens of community members, survivors and loved ones gathered in the City of South Tucson to increase awareness of sexual assault and violence.

The event, called "Take Back the Night" has been held throughout the county since the 1970s.

Among those in attendance, Danielle McFarlin, a survivor.

"The first time I was abused, I was only three. And it continued through the majority of my childhood. As I got into high school, I was date raped by a friend. And then when I was about 20, I was raped in my sleep by a friend of the family," McFarlin said.

McFarlin, a Nogales native, said her journey has been a long and tough one.

"My life has not been an easy life and there were many times when I found myself suicidal. Just over it," McFarlin said.

McFarlin said she only began healing from the past once she found someone who understood her story, and could open up to.

Now she's taking on the role of helping others. Mcfarlin shared her journey through a Ted Talk earlier this year. She shared that Ted Talk with others at Take Back the Night.

"I want survivors to know that there is somebody else that's been through this. And that there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Just keep going," McFarlin said.

People in attendance at the event with a march, performances, a candle lighting, and chance for survivors to share their stories. This was also a way the community to learn how to show support for survivors, like McFarlin.

"Just listen compassionately. Believe the individual. And help the individual just process in their own way. Everyone handles rape and sexual assault differently when it happens to them. But first and foremost. We need to be believed," said Kristine Hall, with event planning committee.

If you or someone you know needs helps, you can call the community crisis hotline at (520) 327-7273.

Emerge! - http://www.emergecenter.org/

Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault - http://www.sacasa.org/

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Copyright 2017 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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