Take Back the Night marks 20 years in Toledo

Red silhouettes of women who lost their lives to domestic violence lined the halls on the Scott Park campus at UT.

As a part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, community members came together to take back the night on domestic violence against women.

This is the 20th anniversary of "Take Back the Night," and it brought women together to heal and to protest violence against women.

â??Society often blames the victim,â?? said Lauren Merrel, a graduate student at the University of Toledo, who helped organize Take Back the Night. â??(Society) tells women â??why canâ??t you just leaveâ?? when it is a lot more complicated than that.â??

The program began at 7 p.m. with a community rally, which featured speakers and musicians followed by a womanâ??s march, a womanâ??s survivor speak out and a menâ??s program. The Clothesline Project, 200 shirts created by local survivors of violence against women, were on display.

The Silent Witness Project, red silhouettes honoring Northwest Ohio women who have been murdered by their parents of former partners, were also on display.

â??I am really hoping that we donâ??t have it next year,â?? Merrell said. â??We want it to stop. That is our whole goal. We want to be here right now to support the people who are going through it or have been through it, but we really do not want to have this event next year.â??