July 9, 2009

Campus Advocates, Student Leaders, and Administrators to Unite in Fight Against Sexual Violence

New York, NY July 9, 2009 – Take Back The Night, a national nonprofit organization, in collaboration with the Avon Foundation for Women, is proud to announce the first Take Back The Night National Conference to be held at Columbia University in New York City on November 7, 2009. Take Back The Night is a powerful movement started in the 1970’s to combat sexual violence and abuse on campuses and in communities around the U.S. and abroad, including more than 400 annual events across the U.S. alone. This national conference will bring together administrators, student leaders and community advocates from Take Back The Night events on more than 100 college campuses to reflect on the movement’s past and look toward its future in the fight against sexual violence in all of its forms.

Conference highlights will include a keynote address from Katie Koestner, Executive Director of Take Back The Night and sexual violence survivor; presentations on new research on the prevalence and impact of sexual violence and abuse and the impact of new technologies; a discussion of successful tactics and initiatives to reduce sexual violence and much more. TBTN issued a call for applications to participate in early July. Applications are available at www.takebackthenight.org/conference.html and will be accepted through 5:00pm EDT on Friday, September 18, 2009. To attend, delegates must demonstrate that their school or organization has hosted at least four TBTN events over the last five years.

"Having held a candle high and marched along many streets at Take Back the Night events across the country, I am certain this Conference will provide the ideal forum to unite the collective energy and enthusiasm of so many who stand for our cause,” said Katie Koestner, Executive Director of Take Back The Night. “It is crucial to the success of our movement that we join together for inspiration from one another, and we are thrilled to partner with the Avon Foundation for Women in this endeavor.”

In the United States, 1 out of every 3 women will be beaten or abused. On college campuses and for young people around the country this is a daily reality; 32% of students report dating violence by a previous partner, and 21% report violence by a current partner. 1

"We are proud to be involved with Take Back The Night and to fund this first National Conference,” said Carol Kurzig, President of the Avon Foundation for Women. “It is so important to bring together leaders from the campuses with the most impactful programs to share their insights and learn about their challenges to expand this successful national movement, which has an impressive record of more than 30 years of progress. We hope this conference will lead to new solutions to address this escalating problem of dating violence and abuse on campuses around the country."

Take Back The Night’s first National Conference is the latest initiative of the Avon Foundation for Women Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program.

The Avon Foundation for Women is a 501(c)(3) public charity and a leader in the causes of breast cancer and domestic violence. Through 2008 more than $11 million was awarded to more than 400 domestic violence organizations in the U.S. alone to support awareness, education, direct services and prevention programs for victims, including a special initiative for children affected by domestic violence. Worldwide, the Avon Foundation for Women and Avon global philanthropy have awarded more than $660 million in over 50 countries for causes of great importance to women, focusing currently on breast cancer and domestic violence.

Take Back The Night is a 501(c)(3) public charity that seeks to end sexual violence in all of its forms including sexual assault, sexual abuse, dating violence, and domestic violence. TBTN empowers survivors in the healing process and inspires responsibility in all. Its goal is to create safe communities and respectful relationships through awareness events and initiatives. Take Back The Night events have been held by college and university women’s centers since the late 1970’s. Early events focused on unsafe streets, cities and campuses; and then as a protest to pornography and the degradation of women and sexuality. Today, events highlight the problem of violence against women as well as the broader issues of sexual violence: sexual assault, rape, dating violence, sexual abuse, domestic violence, stalking, sexual harassment, child abuse, internet harassment and other unhealthy relationships. Men are also lending their voices and standing as survivors at most events. All events strive to bring awareness to the problem of sexual violence and support those who have been victimized.


1) Dating Violence Resource Center http://www.ncvc.org/ncvc/AGP.Net/Components/documentViewer/Download.aspxnz?DocumentID=38056

Media Contacts:

Susan Heaney
Avon Foundation for Women
212-282-5668 (office)


The Avon Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) public charity. Our IRS tax-exempt number is: 13-6128447.