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Area activists will gather on the courthouse steps to "take back the night" next week.

Fulton's Coalition Against Rape and Domestic Violence will be hosting its own Take Back the Night event at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Callaway County Courthouse. Anyone with an interest in ending domestic and sexual violence is welcome to attend.

"This event will be a great opportunity to bring community members and survivors together to embrace our collect voice and work to end domestic and sexual violence," CARDV director Tyler Rieke said.

Holly Ragan Bickmeyer, an activist will speak.

"Holly grew up in Mokane Missouri and is a survivor of violence," Rieke said. "We are very excited to have her speak at this event."

There will also be a DJ, a "wall of support" for attendees to share "words of encouragement, personal stories, messages of hope, etc." and free mini flashlights to help literally light the night, she said.

Take Back the Night is a national protest against sexual violence and violence against women. While the official Take Back the Night foundation was founded in the early 2000s, Take Back the Night protests were happening as early as the late 70s, according to information on foundation's website.

Callaway County has its own sexual and domestic violence problems, crime statistics indicate. In 2016, 496 domestic violence incidence were reported in Callaway County, according to statistics from the Missouri Highway Patrol.

"Since January 1, 2018, CARDV has assisted 151 survivors of domestic and/or sexual violence; this is a prevalent issue in our community," Rieke said.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, she added.

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