Needham Takes Back the Night

Exhibit and collection boxes installed in Needham in support of the sixth annual Take Back the Night event, which is Saturday.


For six years now, a number of Needham residents have been working to Take Back the Night.

The sixth annual Take Back the Night event will be at Needham Town Hall on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. The event aims to raise awareness of dating and domestic abuse, and sexual abuse, and will have two speakers who will talk about their experiences.

Town Hall is displaying the Silent Witness project, red silhouette statues of victims of domestic violence during the days leading up to the event.

The event will also feature entertainment by Fermata Nowhere, Subway Dwarves, Treble Rebels, Charles Winston, Jon Higgins and Sam Evans and Erica Serano, according to the event's Facebook page

Needham Domestic Violence Awareness Committee (DVAC) announced their new collection boxes, which they will unveil at the event, boxes which local businesses will have on display to raise funds for the DVAC. 

The evening is followed by a candlelit march through Needham Center.

Rebecca Getto an Olin College Friday Service Coordinator who helped design the boxes described them in a press release, saying, “We decided that a house would be the best shape for the boxes as it would remind people exactly where their money is going: to rebuilding safe and violence-free homes for families in Needham.”

Donations to the DVAC can also be made online, through their Needham Town Website page.

Below is a full press release from the Needham Public Health Department: 

Shoppers in Needham will notice something new this holiday season. In an exciting collaboration, Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering students developed house-shaped collection boxes for Needham’s Domestic Violence Awareness Committee (DVAC). Ten boxes will be available in local stores for the month of December, including Bagel’s Best, Closet Exchange, Sculpture Hair Studio, Sudbury Farms, Taylor’s Stationery, Volante Farms, and others.

Founded in 1996, DVAC addresses domestic violence, teen dating violence, elder abuseand other violence related issues in the Needham Community. The money collected in December will support DVAC activities, such as providing education in schools and the community, referring residents to domestic violence services, and supporting Take Back the Night and Rape Aggression Defense classes.

DVAC had requested a collection box with space for brochures, expecting a basic coffeecan idea. However, students used DVAC’s logo of a broken home as inspiration for their innovative design.

According to Rebecca Getto, Class of 2015, an Olin College Friday Service Coordinator and one of the developers of the boxes, “We decided that a house would be the best shape for the boxes as it would remind people exactly where their money is going: to rebuilding safe and violence-free homes for families in Needham.”

Olin College has a commitment to service and therefore has dedicated each Friday from 3:10 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. as “community service time.” No other college activities are supposed to be scheduled during this time allowing anyone who is interested to participate in service.

Getto continues, “We designed them to fit together easily, like puzzle pieces, so that all the members of the Olin community--students, parents, and siblings--could build them together at our annual Family Weekend. This project took a lot of hard work, but I feel that it really paid off in the end. I hope that we have given DVAC something that willreally make a difference, more than just a tin can.”

The collection boxes will be introduced at Take Back the Night, an anti-violence event organized by Needham High School students that will take place this Saturday night December 1st at Town Hall. Also on display is the Silent Witness Exhibit, a traveling exhibit that uses art to educate and sensitize people to domestic violence. The Silent Witnesses are free-standing, life-size, red silhouettes each representing a woman, man, or child who was murdered in Massachusetts in 2012 due to dating or domestic violence. Each witness displays the name and story of a homicide victim. Because these individuals no longer have a voice, the silhouettes are called Silent Witnesses. They are on display in Needham Town Hall until December 1st.

For more information about Needham’s Domestic Violence Awareness Committee please call 781-455-7500 x 511 or visit www.needhamma.gov/DVAC.


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