Staff with LSU held Take Back the Night, an event to bring awareness to sexual violence.
LSU students, health officials and members of the community gathered at the Memorial Tower on campus to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the event and remember the victims of sexual violence.
“So often it goes unreported, and so often it is hidden, and so often people suffer in silence,” said LSU’s Chief Diversity Officer Dereck Rovaris.
“This is something that permeates all ages, all groups, all socioeconomic levels,” said Kathy Saichuk, the Ass. Dir. of the LSU Student Health Center.
Survivors one by one shared their stories of sexual assault to bring awareness to an issue that’s too common.
“All I have to say is that I am a United States marine, I’m a man, and you know I have been a victim. Violence works works on two platforms, it’s both physical, verbal and emotional.”
“He almost strangled me to death,” said another sexual assault survivor talking about her ex-husband.
People also picked up posters with silhouettes of the people killed the past year in our state to sexual violence.
Multiple organizations also came together to pass out information on how to prevent sexual assault and what to do if you are a victim.
LSU has a new program to help students learn how to be active bystanders and help those too afraid to speak up.
“Students will be able to learn how to be active bystanders, and then they will become student facilitators to train other students to create that ripple effect around campus,” said Camille Faircloth, the Student Dir. of the “We are Committed” campaign.
“So there are some certain techniques to use, that we talk to students about, if you think you see something going on. If you aren’t feeling safe or comfortable doing that then get someone else to help you, get someone in law enforcement, get an older person, someone, an authority who can
maybe step in and assist in that,” said Saichuk.
Many at the event made powerful t-shirts with messages of hope to end the violence.
“The close line project gives people that attend these events to express how they feel about domestic violence,” said Paula Brooks with Touching Lives Cohesively.
Live music also filled the event.
The band’s lead singer dedicated a special song to her sister who was a victim of domestic violence.
The event followed with a candlelit vigil and march around the campus and nearby neighborhoods.
On average there are almost 300,000 thousand victims of rape or sexual assault under the age of 12 each year in our country.