Students march to support survivors of sexual violence
People marched through campus chanting, “Survivors Unite!” and “Take Back The Night” on Thursday, Oct. 19 to show support for survivors of sexual violence.
The Take Back the Night march was organized by registered student organizations Transcend and Students Advocating Gender Equality (SAGE). The event began outside of Charles V. Park Library with participants holding posters and signs with sexual violence statistics and statements such as “Claim Our Bodies” and “Claim Our Rights."
One participant, Saline sophomore Lauren Frailey, could feel the wandering eyes of the public during the march.
“It was definitely ones of those moments that will shock you, to see a crowd of people shout and yell out for an end to such an important issue in society," Frailey said. “Our presence was truly felt by others, as others were able to hear survivors' stories and understand the severity of sexual violence.”
Following the march was a Speak Out in the Bovee University Center, where survivors and participants had an open and safe discussion and told stories of sexual violence and abuse they have witnessed or experienced.
Baylen Brown of Bayport said while she was very nervous about speaking about her experience, Take Back The Night was the perfect environment that allowed her to do that.
“It was an extremely therapeutic experience that not only there is a safe environment such as Take Back The Night, (but also) that it’s totally OK to speak on these issues and for everyone to cooperatively support and understand," Brown said.
Every year, the event is a humbling experience, said SAGE president and Midland senior Cali Winslow.
“Take Back The Night serves as not only a great opportunity for survivors to share their stories — it also works towards building our community together,” Winslow said.