As part of the It’s on Oxford campaign, ReVision hosted their annual Take Back the Night event on Tuesday, Apr. 3 in front of Seney Hall and Tarbutton to raise awareness of sexual assault and emphasize the importance of bystander intervention.
The event began around 7:30 p.m., where a large turn out of around 40 students gathered to hear a poem preformed by ReVision board members Anne Ruble, Sita Hill, Delaney Anderson, and Skylar Sorini. The poem was a mash up between the spoken word poems “Trigger Warning” by Briana Zora Libby and “Rape Joke” by Belissa Escobedo and Rhiannon McGavin.
Following the performance, speeches were given by ReVision President Barbara Marin and Oxford’s Respect Advocate Heather Jones. Marin stressed the importance of bystander intervention, and Jones made clear that she is here as a resource to survivors and those effected by sexual assault. Much of Jone’s speech centered around sexual assault as a manifestation of entitlement and an expression of power. This was followed by a statement from a survivor who expressed her concern for the way sexual assault is handled at Oxford.
Finally, after a vocal performance by Aliyah Auerbach, students walked in a silent procession to Tarbutton holding electric candles. In Tarbutton, students read multiple survivors’ stories about their experience with sexual assault and viewed the T-shirts created for the Clothesline Project which were displayed on in the theater. People who were OxSAPA certified wore stickers designating them as a resource for anyone needing or wanting support.
Marin expressed the importance of holding an event addressing sexual assault at Oxford, explaining how Take Back the Night is a departure from the usual focus of awareness and education that ReVision and OxSAPA events tend to have.
“Take Back the Night is a different type of programming. It’s a type of programming that shows solidarity, and it sends a message to not only perpetrators but to survivors that we do stand with them and that perpetrators will not be allowed and given the power and space that they try to inhabit in our community,” Marin said. “Take Back the night is very powerful; it encompasses many different aspects of sexual assault and empowerment of survivors.”
At Emory’s Atlanta campus, Take Back the Night is traditionally hosted by SAPA, but at Oxford it has traditionally been held by ReVision and is the culminating event of the Clothesline Project, another annual ReVision endeavor. The Clothesline Project is a “visual representation” of the perviousness of sexual assault according to Marin. Multicolored T-shirts were decorated with facts, quotes, and symbols pertaining to a variety of topics related to or involving sexual assault. These were then displayed outside Lil’s until being relocated to the theater in Tarbutton.
Heather Jones holds walk-in hours on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Career and Counseling Services located by Murdy Breezeway. In addition to this, the next event in the swing of the It’s on Oxford campaign will be a pledge to stop sexual assault, held in Lils Dining Hall through lunch and Dinner.