This past week, Murray State and the surrounding community took a stand against violence and sexual assault by honoring those impacted and helping students prevent these incidents from happening to them.
Monday through Thursday in the Curris Center, the Women’s Center displayed an information table providing everything from pamphlets to handouts about sexual assault, as well as handing out ribbons to honor those impacted, in honor of B.E S.A.F.E. Week (Be Educated (about a) Sexual Assault Free Environment). Students also had the opportunity to create a luminary, or lantern, in honor of someone they know who has been impacted. These lanterns were carried during yesterday’s candlelight march through campus for the 21st annual Take Back the Night event.
Take Back the Night was part of B.E S.A.F.E Week – a week dedicated to making students more aware of the services available to them on campus if they encounter these situations.
As a part of B.E S.A.F.E. Week, the Women’s Center showcased the Clothesline Exhibit. This gave students the opportunity to decorate a shirt and share personal stories. All shirts created will be displayed in the Curris Center anonymously until Oct. 31.
“Take Back the Night also serves as a forum to allow survivors to share their stories and encourage others to take a stand against violence,” Abigail French, Women’s Center director, said.
Students can read some of these stories at takebackthenight.org.
Also on the website, donors can sign a pledge as a way of speaking out against all forms of sexual violence across the world. The donor is then added to the list of Take Back the Night pledgers. Students can also take a stand by making use of the services available on campus should they encounter these issues.
The Racer Patrol has 16 student employees who patrol the campus all year. Escorts can be requested by dialing 809-2222 or using any of the call boxes in front of the residential colleges and other locations throughout the main campus.
There is also a 24 hours a day, seven days a week 911 communications center staffed with certified telecommunicators.
On takebackthenight.org, there are resources available for anyone who has been impacted by violence. According to the Women’s Center, only 1/7 of all domestic assaults are brought to the attention of the police. With October being Domestic Violence Awareness month, students are encouraged to take a stand against all forms of violence.
Story by Brandon Cash, Contributing Writer