'Take Back the Night' march, rally to end domestic violence to take place at UND

In her talk at the Take Back the Night rally slated for Thursday, Oct. 10, at UND, Anna Lundquist says she intends to focus on preventing domestic abuse and sexual violence.

The rally, beginning at 7 p.m. at the Fritz Auditorium, is held in conjunction with the annual The Clothesline Project, an exhibit of T-shirts designed by adults and children who have been harmed by violence.

The display, which is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at the UND Wellness Center, is coordinated by the North Dakota Council on Abused Women’s Services.

The Take Back the Night rally begins with a march, starting at 6 p.m. from the Wellness Center to the Fritz Auditorium. The public is welcome to participate and “be part of a movement to end violence for a safer tomorrow,” said Kailtin Atkinson, prevention and education specialist with the Community Violence and Intervention Center.

A shuttle to the Wellness Center will be available after the program for those who march.


The rally also features the presentation of the Peacemaker Award, given to a local individual “who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to ending domestic violence and sexual assault in our community,” Atkinson said.

Lundquist is one of two guest speakers who’ll share their personal experiences or perspectives on domestic abuse and sexual violence at the Take Back the Night rally. A UND nursing student, she plans to graduate in December 2020.

Lundquist is the recipient of the 2019-20 Dru Sjodin Memorial Scholarship. Sjodin, a UND student who was active in The Clothesline Project, was abducted and killed in November 2003.

“My main goal for this rally, and for my year as a scholarship recipient, is prevention,” Lundquist said.

This ties in with the goal of the CVIC and similar organizations “to be violence free in two generations,” said Lundquist, who was the victim of sexual violence.

Some misconceptions she hopes to dispel involve “how people react when it happens -- the victim-shaming, the blaming, the not understanding -- that’s the biggest thing,” she said. “It’s often spoken about how, if women cover up their bodies that it wouldn’t happen. But that’s not how it works.

“You could be in a room with you and a hundred guys, but if there’s not a rapist in there, you’re not going to be raped, no matter what you’re wearing. But if you’re in a room with you and a hundred guys and there’s four rapists in there, you could be raped, it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing.

“We shouldn’t be victim-shaming, we shouldn’t be victim-blaming,” Lundquist said. “And we shouldn’t be telling women what to wear and how to act. We shouldn’t be telling men what to wear and how to act.


“We should be educating our children, our young adults, our college students and our older adults -- educating about what consent is, what it means when someone says no, how to react when someone says no. How to handle your feelings if someone does say no. What rejection looks like and how to handle that, how to respect each other and how to understand that, even if someone doesn’t say no, if they didn’t say yes, it doesn’t mean yes.”

Society needs to teach children “how they deserve to be treated when we’re raising them,” she said. “And when they’re going out, if someone treats them less than that, they understand that they don’t expect that.”

Looking ahead to her career as a nurse, Lundquist said, she believes that her experience with sexual violence will equip her to better help others.

“I think I’m just a stronger person than I used to be,” she said. “I’ve worked through it; I’ve gone through the stuff it takes to get past it.

“I know who I am as a person. I think I’ll be a better nurse -- more empathetic and more understanding. And if (patients) want resources for how to deal with it, I’ll be able to have the conversation with them.”

Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at or (701) 780-1107.
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