Fitchburg State University recently held it’s 8th annual Take Back the Night.
TBtN is a nationwide event to help raise awareness about sexual assault or violence, and to provide support for survivors. It is a powerful thing to see your community gather and care for one another.
Students gathered on the main quad just as night was setting in. The audience heard from two fellow students who shared stories of sexual violence in their lives and the lives of those who are close to them. Everyone listened attentively to these two brave women for speaking out, and it was an emotional experience had by all.
They spoke of coping with their traumas and trying to find a support system for themselves. When the speeches concluded, those in attendance took a flashlight that was provided and were asked to walk the campus in a silent vigil. As a giant mass we lapped the campus in respectful silence and ended in the main lounge for refreshments, information, and any counseling support desired. Mingling, cookies, and sentiments were exchanged in a group of good-hearted people.
It was one of those moments where you’re a part of something strong, and it felt good to know you weren’t alone, no matter what experiences you’ve had.
1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men in the United States experience some form of attempted sexual violence according to RAINN statistics. Fitchburg Anti-Violence Education (FAVE) is one of the campus-wide initiatives to prevent violence in relationships. FAVE helps create a safe and respectful campus for all at Fitchburg State. There are a number of programs and events that FAVE hosts each year to keep everyone mindful and aware. There’s the Bystander Intervention Program, Ask First Kiss Second, White Ribbon Day, and more.
Fitchburg State prides itself on being an alert and safe community.
FSU is very adamant about a secure campus and a hopeful future. By creating a safety net for those who have been harmed or are affected by any of these intolerable acts, Fitchburg State will always have services to provide. For incoming students, upon your first day on campus you will be attending Drawing the Shades, a student run play that focuses on the experiences of sexual assault survivors. In addition to this, new students are required to take bystander training, which teaches students how to be an active bystander in any and all situations.
If you ever need counseling services of any kind, Fitchburg has great resources for such a thing. Keep the conversation going, ask any questions you may have about Fitchburg State, FAVE, or any concerns you have about anything.