By Lleyton Beinhaker
For The Diamondback
The University of Maryland’s Campus Advocates Respond and Educate to Stop Violence held its annual Take Back the Night and the Clothesline Project events Wednesday on McKeldin Mall to support for sexual assault survivors and raise awareness for the issue.
The Clothesline Project showcased T-shirts that advocates and survivors made and hung on a clothesline to amplify the voices of those who have been affected by sexual assault.
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Each shirt displayed a different message surrounding rape culture and brought support and awareness to those who have been affected. The annual event is a part of sexual assault awareness month, and this year’s theme is “Breaking the Silence on Rape Culture.”
“I think any kind of event where we can come together and acknowledge this issue of power-based violence is really powerful,” CARE’s outreach and assessment coordinator Grace Fansler Boudreau said. “Not only for those on campus who have experienced it, but it’s just a sensitive topic that we may not get a chance to talk about in the community.”
CARE provides “free, confidential advocacy and therapy services to primary and secondary survivors of sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking and sexual harassment” at this university, according to their website. The organization holds many events throughout the year to raise awareness for sexual assault.
“We are not a reporting entity. Rather, we help survivors navigate the available resources and options,” Boudreau said.
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Sophomore behavioral and community health major and CARE peer educator Masha Klochkova also attended the event.
“It’s important that people have a place to come to, in case they don’t know what to do, in case their friend is a survivor, in case they are a survivor themselves,” Klochkova said.
In addition to CARE, Preventing Sexual Assault is a student-run organization that also advocates for victims of sexual assault and attempts to confront rape culture at this university. PSA president Anna Gerstein, a senior public policy major, attended the Take Back the Night event to show her support for CARE’s advocacy.
“Bringing awareness to a problem that’s so prevalent, I think, is really important, but also taking the time to educate people outside of the CARE and PSA community,” Gerstein said. “People generally just on campus … [who] have never attended an event like this being able to come over and talk to people, but also be able to get those resources.”
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story’s headline incorrectly stated that the Clothesline Project was hosted by advocates of sexual assault. Campus Advocates Respond and Educate to Stop Violence, a group that raises awareness of and works to combat sexual assault at this university, hosted the event. This story’s headline has been updated.