Monday, April 18, 2011

Take Back the Night: Stevenson University

I was glad to be a speaker on behalf of TurnAround, Inc. (the other speaker was the kind president of the university, Kevin J. Manning, Ph.D.) at Stevenson University's Take Back the Night. It was such a well-organized and emotional event. There was a great number of students for such a small university and many resident directors in attendance. I was glad to also see so many men in the audience. There was such an overwhelming support. I spent the afternoon with my friend, Marie Lilly, an avid advocate for women's rights and violence prevention.. Ialso had the opportunity to meet another volunteer for the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MCASA), D. LaShay Harvey.

I must say that I am sick of hearing my story repeated... survivor after survivor went up for the "Open Mic" and shared stories of men they trusted molesting or raping them, the survivor not being believed and feeling isolated. When will this catastrophic cycle end? Will it ever? The reoccurring theme of the night was for victims to speak out so that we can put a stop to this terrible, repetitious cycle in the lives of our people in our communities and our society. It is so disheartening to see this continue, but until we receive support from communities, until people step up and show concern and support, rape, molestation, domestic violence and more will continue.  

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