April 2, 2024

Backstage at the Egyptian: Beth Ganion of Safe Passage talks ‘Take Back the Night’

In this interview, Pamela, the marketing intern here at the Egyptian Theatre, speaks with Beth Ganion of Safe Passage. Beth provides insight into Safe Passage’s crucial role as DeKalb County’s sole domestic violence and sexual assault crisis center, outlining the array of free and confidential survivor services they offer. Their discussion also delves into community involvement opportunities, the significance of events like Take Back the Night, and upcoming initiatives for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

PAMELA: Could you tell us about Safe Passage and the services it provides?
BETH: Safe Passage is DeKalb County’s only domestic violence and sexual assault crisis center. All of
our survivor services are free and confidential. We offer legal advocacy, medical advocacy, DV
counseling, SA counseling, prevention education, and partner abuse intervention services. We
also have a crisis hotline and text line that are available for free 24 hours a day 7 days a week
that is always answered by a real live professional.

P: How can community members show their support and become involved with Safe
Passage?
B: Community members can show their support in many ways. They can donate to Safe
Passage to help us keep all of our survivor services free. Community member can also
volunteer. Everyone can find all that information on safepassagedv.org

P: What is Take Back the Night about?
B: Take Back The Night is an international march to end all forms of sexual violence. Many
nonprofits, campuses, and communities across the world march with their own Take Back
The Night to help shine a light on sexual violence and start a conversation in their own
communities.

P: Could you tell us a little bit about Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) and how
important this month is for victims and survivors of sexual assault?
B: Sexual Assault Awareness Month or more commonly known as SAAM is in April and it
is a month to talk about a tough topic that many in the past wanted to ignore. Its
important we have tough conversations about sexual violence or we will never see
change. We always like to say that sexual violence still happens because it is not seen as
unacceptable in our communities. We still make jokes about it on TV, we still aren’t
seeing high prosecution rates, we still see survivors blamed for the violence perpetrated
against them. Until this all changes and our society changes, we will see sexual violence
continue.

P: What does it mean to Safe Passage for continuing to have this event at the historic
Egyptian Theatre?
B: It means a lot to have the Egyptian Theatre host this event for our community and our
clients because it shows that event a big name like The Egyptian Theatre cares about this
social issue. It shows our survivors that the community cares and will step up to help with
awareness events like Take Back The Night.

P: What do you hope the audience takes away from this event?
B: I hope the audience takes away that we all can do a lot to help survivors and also help
prevent sexual violence. Having conversations early and often in our communities is how
we begin to make a change and hopefully see a world where sexual violence doesn’t
exist.

P: What other upcoming events does Safe Passage have for the remainder of SAAM?
B: We have our Walk A Mile event happing April 20th at the NIU convocation center. This is
a super fun family friendly event with face painting, yard games, cookies, and other fun
activities. Sign up at https://safepassagedv.org/events/walk-a-mile