Follow us on Instagram
Try our daily mini crossword
Play our latest news quiz
Download our new app on iOS/Android!

Coalition plans month of sexual violence awareness events

To promote Sexual Violence Awareness Month, purple ribbons are streaming across the University.

The Purple Ribbon Project is part of the month-long, University-wide attempt to educate students and recognize the effects of gender-based violence. Students are passing out ribbons in dining halls and at the student center, urging that they be worn all month.


Take Back the Night, the centerpiece of this month's activities, is an annual, nationwide movement designed to support victims of sexual violence. This is the 11th year it will take place on campus. "It becomes more of a tradition every year, so participation should increase," SHARE peer educator Michelle Cheung '99 said.

The ceremony will start at 7:30 p.m. tonight in Firestone Plaza with speakers and performers and will be followed by a candlelit march.

According to fliers posted throughout campus, "the goals of the march on this campus are to prevent sexual violence, heal those who have survived sexual assault, and to strive for healthier intimate relationships."

Ribbons and fliers have been distributed all over campus to publicize the event to the largest number of students possible of both genders.

"The major goals are to encourage the entire campus to participate and show their support and dispel the belief that women are the only victims," said Take Back the Night planning committee member Stephanie Poulos '98.

A forum

The Take Back the Night planning committee and SHARE are both involved in organizing the month's activities. "This year it is really well done and is more publicized and organized," Cheung said. "We have many famous people coming in and opportunities for everyone to get involved."


"We want to convey that this is not a problem to run away from," Poulos said. "Sexual and domestic violence problems are extremely prevalent in our society and people need to rally around the victims. We want to create a forum so people can discuss their experiences and feel the presence of a supportive community."

Though the focus of Sexual Violence Awareness Month is the march, the planning committee hopes to continue to expand the scope of its activities, Poulos said.

"Our programs are not geared to specific groups of women and we emphasize that point," Cheung said. "We try to get rid of any presupposed stereotypes."

Take Back the Night will be preceded by a coffeehouse in Murray-Dodge on Wednesday night, where students will present songs, poems and stories on the topic of sexual violence. The coffeehouse will provide a comfortable atmosphere where people can share their experiences and feel the support of the community, Poulos said.

Get the best of ‘the Prince’ delivered straight to your inbox. Subscribe now »

Other events occurring during Sexual Violence Awareness Month include a lecture by John Douglas, the retired chief of the FBI Investigative Support Unit, and a women's self-defense class in Dillon Gym. Both events are free to all students.