On Saturday night (March 23, 2013) students united for GMC’s first ever Take Back The Night march. Students came together in solidarity against sexual violence in all its forms. The march began in Ames Circle and winded its way through campus, ending with a candlelight vigil and speak out session at the Sage Labyrinth. During the march students chanted through campus, shattering the silence of rape and sexual assault. At the labyrinth, students shared poetry, stories, or personal experiences during the candle light vigil while the group stood in a tight circle of support. Statistically 1 in 3 college womyn are raped or sexually assaulted. One person is one too many. Students came together to state and stand together that GMC will not tolerate rape or gender violence. GMC’s first Take Back The Night march was organized by Shai O’Rourke with support from Devan Moran, Erin McAuliffe, Taylor Conley, and I.
“I am deeply grateful and overjoyed to witness, and be a part of, such a strong feminist collective in my final semester at GMC. Truly, this is the stuff of history, of transformation, and of empowerment. On Saturday night, we make history at our college.” –Shai
There will be an annual Take Back The Night at GMC from this year forward. We will continue to shatter the silence to end the violence! We are here to provide support to students who have faced this kind of violence and we will stand in solidarity with them and work to make sure that the communities that we are living in are a safe place for all—we must NOT TOLERATE rape or sexual assault. End of story. We must dismantle rape culture. We must join together to make this a safer world.
“We need to OCCUPYRAPE in every school, park, radio, TV station, household, office, factory, refugee camp, military base, back room, night club, alleyway, courtroom, UN office. We need people to truly try and imagine — once and for all — what it feels like to have your body invaded, your mind splintered, your soul shattered. We need to let our rage and our compassion connect us so we can change the paradigm of global rape. There are approximately one billion women on the planet who have been violated. ONE BILLION WOMEN. The time is now. Prepare for the escalation.”
“I am over violence against women not being a #1 international priority when one out of three women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime — the destruction and muting and undermining of women is the destruction of life itself.”
The group of GMC students that “took back the night” and will continue to dismantle rape culture
Photo by Kelsea Eaton
Shai starts GMC’s first Take Back the Night march with beautiful & motivational words that she wrote
Photo by Taylor Conley
Candle Light Vigil and poetry reading
Photo by Devan Moran
“In spite of the enthusiasm of the march, not a single professor, administrator, or “higher up” made an appearance at this march. No CD’s, no RA’s, not even campus security to see what all the ruckus was about. Approxomately six boys came, most of which were dating one of the girls there.
They couldn’t even pay their respects to the women at the candlelight vigil, who shared their stories of the rapes committed against them on this campus by other students. The message could not be any clearer.” -Shai