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Jefferson College and COMTREA Take Back the Night April 26

Jefferson College and COMTREA Take Back the Night April 26

Jefferson College and COMTREA will once again co-host “Take Back the Night” on Thursday, April 26, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Field House on the Hillsboro campus in conjunction with April’s designation as Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). This is the seventh year for the community awareness event.

In case of inclement weather, the event will be moved inside the Field House.

Take Back the Night is an annual event that strives to create safe communities and respectful relationships through awareness. It seeks to end all forms of sexual and domestic abuse. The event recognizes survivors of violence and abuse, along with their advocates, and anyone who wishes to shatter the silence and stop the violence.

According to the national Take Back the Night website, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men worldwide experience some form of sexual violence. Less than 50 percent of victims report these crimes.

Open to everyone in the region, the educational and inspirational evening will include several activities and guest speakers, highlighted by a walk and rally to recognize and support survivors of sexual violence and abuse. Free food and water will be provided, as well as Take Back the Night t-shirts while supplies last.

Although all Take Back the Night activities are free, proceeds from fundraising that evening will go to the Mary Daniels Scholarship fund, in support of the former Jefferson County resident who was the fatal victim of a violent physical attack.

Take Back the Night will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a resource fair highlighted by over 20 exhibitors and a free self-defense class led by Jefferson College Health Professions Tutoring and Resource Lab Coordinator Richard Stephenson. For a complete list of participating resources and organizations, visit

Schedule of Events

  • 5 p.m. - Vendor set-up
  • 5:30 p.m. - Resource Fair and self-defense classes
  • 6 p.m. - Opening announcement
  • 6:15 p.m. – Guest speakers Alexis Lowery and Ray Amanat
  • 7 p.m. – Walk and rally
  • 7:30 p.m. - Event closing

Keynote speaker Alexis Lowery is a junior at St. Pius X who is active in her school, job, and community. She is the daughter of Mary Daniels, who was killed in 2010 by her estranged husband, which is the reason behind Mary’s House of Hope Project.

Additional speakers will be Ray Amanat and Sabrina Kaestner with H.E.R.O.E.S. In Action. Amanat founded “Heroes in Action” mainly because he was a victim of bullying and violence at home and during elementary through high school. He developed programs to help adults and children of all abilities and disabilities feel empowered to keep themselves safe, as well as to create a culture of respect and non-violence towards others. Ray has lectured at public and private universities, elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools. He gives seminars and personal safety workshops to individuals and corporations, providing them with street-smart tips, practical advice, and role-playing with real world examples.

Participating agencies and services will include St. Louis Crisis Nursery, Jefferson County 9-1-1 Dispatch, Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Jefferson County, CACECM (Children Advocacy Center of Eastern Missouri), Heroes in Action, Finding Grace Ministries, Mary's House of Hope at a Safe Place, DeafLEAD, It's On Us, ALIVE, COMTREA & Alive & Well Jefferson County, COMTREA- SA/EP Visitation Program, WIOA Programs (Jefferson County/Missouri Job Center), Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Jefferson County Developmental Disabilities Resource Board (JCDDRB), Hoofprints On My Heart, St. Louis Bi-State Intergroup of Overeaters Anonymous, Active Minds, Safe Connections, SALT Team, Jefferson County Franklin Community Action, and Jefferson College.

As in previous years, KJFF/KTJJ radio will also be broadcasting live.

Take Back the Night empowers survivors in the healing process and inspires responsibility in all with a goal to create safe communities and respectful relationships through awareness events and initiatives. Events highlight the problem of violence as well as the broader issues of sexual violence: sexual assault, dating violence, sexual abuse, domestic violence, stalking, sexual harassment, child abuse, and other unhealthy relationships.

Event sponsors include Jefferson College, COMTREA Comprehensive Health Center, Messy Tessy’s Pet Grooming, Cool Beans Café, The Donut Hole, Arnold’s Walk-In Closet, Hillsboro Drug, Active Minds, Jefferson County Developmental Disabilities Resource Board, Image Realty, Hovis & Associates, Hoofprints on My Heart, and St. Luke’s United Church of Christ.

For more information about Take Back the Night activities or volunteer and vendor opportunities, visit or contact Kristine Bogue at Jefferson College by calling (636) 481-3262 or emailing or Angela Evans at COMTREA by calling (636) 797-5048 or emailing