Thursday night Slippery Rock took part in the international event Take Back The Night. Take Back The Night Foundation’s mission is ending sexual, relationship and domestic violence in all forms by ending the silence about the topic and raising awareness. The foundation began in the 1970s and today, over 30 countries take part in it. On Thursday, SRU students and faculty gathered in the Gazebo in the Quad at 7:30 p.m. to come together to talk about the issue. Due to weather, everyone moved into Spotts Auditorium to hear the stories of SRU students who have had experience with sexual, relationship or domestic violence.
Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance (FMLA) President Victoria Davis began by introducing the event that happens every year on campus along with places all around the world.
“I am so glad we can come together because we all want to change and help the environment we live in as SRU students,” Davis said.
“I want [college] to be a positive experience for every single person who walks on this campus and sometimes it isn’t. But I don’t think there is anything more empowering than standing up for yourself, your friends and fellow students,” Davis said.
To begin the discussion, one sophomore SRU student shared her story about sexual violence she went through. She said she knew her attacker long before it happened. After they had been at a party together and he kept forcing more alcohol upon her, he sexually assaulted her in his home. She warned the audience to pay attention to warning signs and reminded everyone that sexual assault is never the fault of the victim.
Another SRU student told the audience her experience with relationship violence. After her ex-boyfriend and her were having troubles and he physically harmed her, she did everything in her power to stay away from him. Even after they separated ways at college, he had stalked her and came to SRU and would not leave her alone. She warned the audience to never blow off any warning signs of an unhealthy relationship before it gets worse.
Students and faculty involved then marched around campus chanting to raise awareness about sexual violence and let SRU know they care about the topic and the night ended with a candlelight vigil.
The event was cosponsored by FMLA, Men of Distinction, QUEENS, RockOUT, Reflections, Sigma Sigma Sigma, SOL, SUMA and the Women’s Center.