To let victims of sexual and domestic violence know that they are not alone, and they did it by "taking back the night."
"This is a way that as a community we can say not in our backyard and we support survivors," said event organizer Marilyn Shamblin.
The 11th annual "Take Back the Night" event was held in Curtis Hixon Park in downtown Tampa on Sunday.
The event is put on by the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay in collaboration with the Sexual Violence Task Force of Tampa Bay.
It's described as an interactive event that creates awareness, empowers survivors and educates the community about sexual violence.
"It's the opportunity for survivors to see that they're not alone, that there is hope and that there can be freedom from suffering from sexual violence," said Shamblin.
Shamblin is the event's organizer and a survivor of sexual violence.
She said events like this make such a difference.
"If somebody is in a car accident as a community we know how to support, you get food, go to the hospital, get cards, but if they're sexually assaulted, not everybody knows how to show support," said Shamblin.
Misty Ross said that type of support is part of the reason she attended.
She says her mother was a victim of sexual, physical and emotional abuse, but it doesn't stop there.
"I also was in a domestic violence relationship myself in high school so it's kind of another reason it's very personal for me," said Ross.
She says support from people at events like "Take Back the Night" is something every survivor needs.
"So often victims are isolated so I think it's really important to know you're not the only one and to know that there are people who do get through it and do survive and there are ways to get out," said Ross.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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