FMLA takes back the night

Published by adviser, Author: Nina Bracci - Contributor, Date: October 15, 2015
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The Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance (FMLA) held their Take Back the Night event on Tuesday in order to raise awareness of sexual assaults and interpersonal violence. The event welcomed three guest speakers to share their stories, which was followed by a march around campus and a candlelight vigil to support the survivors at the end of the night.
Sophomore secondary English education major and FMLA president, Victoria Davis was in charge of the event.
“Take Back the Night is essentially held to raise awareness on sexual violence and to show what a huge impact it has on a college student’s life,” Davis said.
Take Back the Night is a national and global phenomenon which first began in 1973. Women have marched for different reasons throughout the Take Back the Night events that have occurred globally.
Senior political science major and FMLA club vice president Gabriella Lyons said FMLA’s job at the event was to acknowledge sexual assaults and interpersonal violence and talk about it so that students are more aware of it.
The first part of the event included three speakers who each took turns telling their stories and explaining how the aftermath affected their lives.
“I think the number one thing that people should take away from this event is that these men and women aren’t statistics,” Davis said. “The whole reason we do this is to show that those people weren’t a one in four, they are real people with real lives and families.”
Davis said the color purple, which showed up a lot at the event, represents domestic violence, assault and the victims who survived it.
“Those three women who came out to share their stories have impacted the lives of over fifty people here tonight who were listening and learning because now to them, they are no longer a statistic,” Davis said.
“So when people see those purple hearts around campus, they no longer think a numeral, but of a woman.”
The event had the attendees take posters made by members of FMLA that said, “Stop the Violence,” with which they marched across campus chanting. They walked through the resident buildings and through the quad to allow their voices to be heard.
“The march is important to me because it spreads awareness about an issue that silences people,” Lyons said. “This event is all about speaking up and taking back what was lost.”
Jodiann Solito, supervisor of the women’s center on campus, spoke at the event and informed all who attended that different resources and outlets are available if needed
Freshman criminology major and FMLA club member, Madison Scofield, said students should be more involved and if they see something happening whether it’s them or someone else, they should speak up and not let it fall by the wayside.
“Sexual assault is an issue that has been brushed aside and it can’t be anymore. It needs to be talked about and it needs to be heard,” said Scofield.
The Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance meets every Monday night at 7:30 p.m. in the Women’s Center of the Robert M. Smith Student Center.

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