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Take Back the Night seems especially timely this year

Take Back the Night in Oshkosh on October 18, 2017. (WLUK/Mike Moon){p}{/p}
Take Back the Night in Oshkosh on October 18, 2017. (WLUK/Mike Moon)

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OSHKOSH (WLUK) -- Recently social media has been flooded with words and hashtag "Me Too." The campaign is for victims of sexual harassment and assault to shine a light on an issue that can often be hidden.

As the social media surge continues an annual event to bring awareness to sexual and domestic violence took place in Oshkosh Wednesday.

UW-Oshkosh hosted 'Take Back the Night,' part of an international event.

As hundreds marched through Oshkosh to take back the night Wednesday, the event seemed especially timely.

"Honestly, it seems like every time we come together for this event we're kind of on the heels of some big, national story," said Marianne Radley, the advocacy director for Reach Counseling.

Event organizers told FOX 11 News the allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein and the Me Too campaign have opened a lot of eyes.

They told us they hope the campaign helps break down the stigma surrounding sexual harassment and assault, saying it's time to listen to victims, not blame them.

"Seeing the me too hashtag is a way for them to feel, 'okay, maybe I'm not alone in this, I can come forward and get the help that I need,'" Radley explained.

And connecting victims to that help, those services is what this event is all about.

"We want to really bring to light that those issues happen, how to prevent it, how to talk to our kids about when we've read stuff like this in the news," explained Beth Oswald, the interim director for Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services.

"It anything it's just a gathering where we can come together and support one another," added Roni Howard a UW-Oshkosh senior.

Organizers told FOX 11 it's important men are part of this movement too.

"We know, statistically speaking, that men are perpetrators of violence, overwhelmingly and what we need to do, as everyday allies, is take a look at ourselves and question things that we say, that we do," explained Alex Hummel, who is part of the leadership behind Voices of Men of the Fox Valley.

Organizers told us it's up to everyone to change, to make victims feel safe enough to come forward and to realize these issues affect every community.

"Most people, you know, think it can't happen to them personally. Just knowing that it's closer than what most people actually think is very shocking," said Howard.

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Two of the services represented Wednesday are Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services and Reach Counseling. You can go to the Christine Ann website here and the Reach Counseling website here.

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