Campus community rallies together to oppose worldwide sexual violence

The Brandeis community affirmed its commitment to eradicating worldwide sexual violence with a candlelight vigil and march on the evening of April 21. The event was inspired by “Take Back the Night,” a global nonprofit whose mission is to end all sexual violence.
At 8 p.m. hundreds of Brandeis students, faculty and staff gathered at the Rabb steps for a candle-lighting ceremony. The crowd, including provost Lisa Lynch, senior vice president for students and enrollment Andrew Flagel, and Rape Crisis Center director Sheila McMahon, made its way to various campus locations, including all Upper Campus residence quads and the Shapiro Campus Center, before converging on the Great Lawn.
At every stop, advocates shared sexual violence statistics, as well as either a personal or anonymous story of surviving rape and sexual assault. During the march, they chanted “Unite tonight, take back the night.” Peer advocates from the Rape Crisis Center, as well as numerous counselors from various prevention services in the Boston area, were on hand to offer support to participants.  
“Take back the night created a safe and healing space for survivors and community members to share and hear stories of sexual assault,” says Victoria Jonas ‘15, the director of marketing and communications for the Rape Crisis Center. “It was great to see so many Brandeis students and faculties come to support the empowerment of survivors through Take Back the Night.”
The event was sponsored by Students Talking About Relationships, the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance, Brandeis Students against Sexual Violence, and the Office of Prevention and the Rape Crisis Center.
“I’m so grateful for the incredible show of support we had at the event,” says McMahon. “Many courageous people came to the event and some spoke, which was powerful. I appreciate our community stepping up to be present in standing against sexual violence."

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