Take Back the Night: Thank You

Post Contributor: Erika Sanchez
On behalf of the Women’s Center, we thank everyone for their assistance and participation in Take Back the Night. The event provided a safe environment where students could feel comfortable in speaking up about their experiences, witness the many people on campus who support them, and learn about the various resources that are available. With persistent focus, leadership, and action, we united to help give voice to victims and bystanders of violence. However, the conversation does not end there. Together we must continue our eorts in ending sexual assault, interpersonal violence, and stalking within our communities. We look forward to seeing you next semester and hope you will join us again next year as we take back the night!

If you, or someone you know, have experienced sexual assault, stalking, or other forms of interpersonal violence such as dating and domestic violence, we encourage you to seek out supportive services. Eastern has a Sexual Assault & Interpersonal Violence Response Team (SAIV-RT) available to give guidance, support, and information. If you would like to learn more, we encourage you to visit www.easternct.edu/saiv or speak with the Coordinator of the SAIV-RT, Starsheemar Byrum at byrums@easternct.edu or (860) 465-4314.

Take Back the Night: A Reflection

Post Contributor: Ami Jallow
Personally, Take Back the Night was one of my favorite events of this semester. It was an event that allowed us to be open and vulnerable to complete strangers. It was very inspirational how we were all able to connect because we had either gone through, or knew someone that had gone through, some kind of abuse. I appreciated this event because it allowed a very different outlet for me to share my personal experiences. Take Back the Night reminded me why I wanted to work and be associated with the Women’s Center in the first place. We are here to provide a safe space, a haven on campus, for anyone from all walks of life to be comfortable enough to share their past, present and futures. I, personally, want to thank everyone that attended. It takes a lot to confide in people we have never met before. I want to thank you all for giving me an opportunity to heal further. God bless.

If you, or someone you know, have experienced sexual assault, stalking, or other forms of interpersonal violence such as dating and domestic violence, we encourage you to seek out supportive services. Eastern has a Sexual Assault & Interpersonal Violence Response Team (SAIV-RT) available to give guidance, support, and information. If you would like to learn more, we encourage you to visit www.easternct.edu/saiv or speak with the Coordinator of the SAIV-RT, Starsheemar Byrum at byrums@easternct.edu or (860) 465-4314.

The Bandana Project

Post Contributor: Erika Sanchez
The Bandana Project was held on Thursday, March 26th from 1:30 – 5 pm with a great turn-out. Students designed bandanas in support of migrant farmworker women who, in the name of making money for their families and putting food on the table, face grave threats such as sexual violence and exploitation. Many suffer silently in fear of losing their job, deportation, and separation from their children.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in Montgomery, AL, launched the Bandana Project through their program Esperanza: The Immigrant Woman’s Legal Initiative. The creator of the initiative, Monica Ramirez a lawyer and immigrant rights activist started this project with an aim “to bring a sense of hope, confidence and the will to be brave.” The bandana is the symbol for this effort because female farmworkers often wear bandanas to keep their face and gender hidden from unwanted sexual advances.

Members from Eastern clubs such as O.L.A.S., N.O.W., and M.A.L.E.S. were able to attend the program and design powerful art with messages on the bandanas. It was great to see leaders of these student organizations supporting important programs and causes. Monica Ramirez and Mily Treviño-Sauceda will be on campus Monday, March 30th, in the Johnson Room from 6 – 8 pm to discuss the community’s response to stop the abuse of farmworker women.

We hope you will join us!

 

Red Flag Campaign 2015

Post Contributor: Garland Mann-Lamb
Last week, the Women’s Center launched the Red Flag Campaign on campus. The Red Flag Campaign is a public awareness project aimed toward educating students on the importance of healthy relationships, identifying relationship “red flags,” and feeling empowered to say something when a red flag is seen. As part of the campaign, small red flags were placed on the Student Center lawn, each stating a red flag situation such as jealousy, stalking, coercion, sexual assault, emotional abuse, isolation, and victim-blaming. The Women’s Center Ambassadors hosted tables in the Student Center and Webb Hall to share information on the Red Flag Campaign and the Sexual Assault & Interpersonal Violence Response Team, which is a multi-disciplinary team that provides assistance to victim-survivors of interpersonal violence.

At these events, students were able to sign a banner and take the pledge, “When I see a red flag, I’ll say something.” Over 150 students, faculty, and staff took the pledge, including athletes, coaches, men, women, professors, and administrators. The pledge doesn’t end with signing a banner. We encourage all to stand up and speak out when they see unhealthy characteristics in a relationship. How can you help someone? Say something! Lend a listening ear. Be supportive and non-judgmental. Refer them to services. Visit the Women’s Center to learn more about all the resources available to students in our area and keep an eye out for Red Flag programs coming to your residence hall in the coming weeks!