April has been nationally observed as Sexual Assault Awareness Month since 2001, with activities taking place across the United States and abroad for many years prior.

Southern Oregon has participated in the movement as well, with an annual Take Back the Night rally at Southern Oregon University, held by the Women's Resource Center.

Every April, men and women of the community participate in the rally and march down Siskiyou Boulevard to downtown Ashland, where a candlelight vigil is held to honor those affected by sexual assault.

The event is an "empowering, safe place to share stories and experiences" according to Jennifer Garcia, a junior at SOU and member of the Women's Resource Center. "(It) is "incredibly valuable to the community."

Both students and community members are encouraged to join in the rally and march. Anyone who wants to participate can meet at 7:30 p.m. in the SOU Stevenson Union courtyard on April 18.

This year, Take Back the Night is working in partnership with the campus-wide Yell It! Tell It! Campaign to raise awareness around sexual assault in our community. Yell It! Tell It! Stop Sexual Assault! provides resources, programs and education to the SOU community.

is a Phoenix High School Senior. This write-up is part of her senior project focusing on sexual assault awareness.