Students march to end sexual violence at Take Back the Night

Students+rallied+from+the+MLK+Commons+to+the+East+Lagoon+Thursday+to+protest+sexual+violence.

Zulfiqar Ahmed | Northern Star

Students rallied from the MLK Commons to the East Lagoon Thursday to protest sexual violence.

By Julio Ceja, News Reporter

DeKALB –  Over 40 students gathered on campus Thursday night from 7 to 9 p.m. to show support and raise awareness to end sexual abuse, sexual assault and domestic violence. The event was planned by the Women and Gender Advocacy Alliance. 

Survivors, advocates and allies spoke throughout the night highlighting issues that survivors who have gone through abuse face when recovering. The crowd rallied from the MLK Commons to the East Lagoon and chanted, “Women united will never be defeated!” and “Whatever we wear, wherever we go, yes means yes and no means no.”

Prism President Trevon Smith said that many sexual assault and domestic violence survivors feel like they can’t speak up or say anything, many times putting the blame on themselves. 

I want us to start having having a better conversation around sex, consent, and power so that people feel like they don’t need to be silent anymore,”

— Trevon Smith

“I want us to start having having a better conversation around sex, consent, and power so that people feel like they don’t need to be silent anymore,” Smith said. 

Ari Owens, assistant director of the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, focused on making sure students know that sexual violence and domestic violence impacts people of all genders and sexualities. 

“If you ever feel unseen and unsupported on campus because of your sexuality, or your gender identity, come to us. We’re here to listen to you,” Owens said. 

After the speakers finished, the floor was opened to survivors and supporters to share stories and poems. They were able to talk about their experiences with people. Many of the speakers shared the same feelings of not being able to share their stories because they thought they were in the wrong. 

Owens let students know that even if they just need a place to hang out and be comfortable they are welcomed to stop by the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, 105 Normal Road.