Taking a Stand: Sexual Assault Awareness Week

Olivia Craft

Claim our bodies, claim our right. Take a stand, take back the night!

Chant spoken during the Take Back the Night march

Sexual Assault Awareness Week was full of emotional, valuable events, including the clothesline project, survivor love letters, and the take back the night march. 

The Clothesline Project

Photo by Sarah Smith
Photo by Shaun Boyce

The Clothesline Project was a week-long exhibit where people could go and choose different colored shirts and write different messages on them, each meant to bring awareness to Sexual Assault. 

The colors for the shirts are:

  • Pink: Sexual Assault
  • Blue: Childhood Sexual Abuse
  • Purple: Violence due to sexual orientation
  • Yellow: Survivor of physical assault or domestic violence
  • White: in memory of a murdered victim

“It’s pretty incredible to look up … and see all of the pink T-shirts and know that every single one of those shirts is another person that has somehow been impacted by sexual assault,” said Lauren Patterson, chair of the Georgia Southern Sexual Assault Response team.

Survivor Love Letters

This event was held on Tuesday and is meant for students and faculty to go and write a letter for survivors of sexual assault and to give encouragement and show the survivors that they are not alone. 

“It’s really powerful to write letters of support and encouragement to survivors of sexual assault” said Patterson. 

Take Back the Night March & End the Violence Rally

Photo by Shaun Boyce

All last week led up to this moment. The moment where the students personally get to take action and publicly oppose sexual assault. Although the temperature was in the 30s, there was a turn out of about 100 people, undergraduates, graduates, and faculty. 

Pictured: Rebecca Akins; Photo: Shaun Boyce

Rebecca Akins, sophomore elementary and special education major said, “sadly, at one point I was a victim of sexual violence, and I find that speaking out and attending events like this help me heal.”

Pictured: Eric Moore; Photo: Shaun Boyce

Eric Moore, senior interdisciplinary studies major said, “I realized just how many of my female friends as well as my mother go through domestic violence, and I wanted to come and show my support.”

Pictured: Christian Gibbs; Photo: Shaun Boyce

Christian Gibbs, senior biology major said the event brings awareness to the topics of sexual assault, date rape, and more. 

Photo by Shaun Boyce

After waiting about 15 minutes for everyone to get their list of chants and their posters and t-shirts, it was finally time to set off on our march around campus. 

Graphic by Rebecca Hooper
Photo by Shaun Boyce

1, 2, 3, 4, we won’t take it anymore! 5, 6, 7, 8 no more violence no more hate!

Chant spoken during Take Back the Night March

Photo by Shaun Boyce

The march ended at Russell Union where the End the Violence Rally took place. It was a candle-lit ceremony where people could speak about their experiences with sexual assault.

Sexual Assault Awareness Week is held every year.