Bowdoin students, as well as some staff and faculty, recently walked through campus while holding candles to raise awareness about sexual and domestic violence. Throughout the walk, which was silent to encourage reflection, the loudest sounds came from the rain falling on leaves and on the ground.
Student clubs that create awareness about the issue and that support survivors worked together to organize the annual Take Back the Night event. At the museum steps, where the walk began, students from V-Day and Safe Space, among others, gave out candles for marchers to carry to show that there should be no dark corners on campus — no places where students feel unsafe.
Take Back the Night is an annual event on college campuses and in domestic violence shelters around the world. At least one in every three women has been the victim of sexual or domestic violence, according to information on Take Back the Night’s website.The figure is one out of six for men
Event organizers and V-Day co-leaders Kaylee Wolfe ’15 and Leah Alper ’17 introduced the event on the museum steps. Erica Hummel ’16, a V-Day member, gave figures about the prevalence of sexual violence nationwide. “Only three out of 100 rapists will spend even a single day in prison,” Hummel said. “Out of 100 assaults, only 40 of them will be reported, and only 10 of them will lead to arrest. More than two-thirds of all assaults are committed by someone close to the victim.”
Leaders of Safe Space Rachel Gladstone ’15 and Erin Leddy ’15 then spoke about the work they do on campus. Safe Space provides confidential support on campus for survivors of sexual violence and for the friends of survivors. “Safe Space members are often asked if we are actually used,” Gladstone said. “The short answer is yes.”
The group ended the walk at 24 College Street with a short concert by Boka, one of Bowdoin’s 6 a cappella groups. The group sang from the porch steps while students gathered around to listen.