Shatter the Silence

Yesterday, I went to Take Back the Night at my university. This was my fourth Take Back the Night! The event included a march throughout campus, an opportunity for survivors to speak out about their experiences with sexual assault, a glow stick vigil, and many opportunities for education about sexual assault and the resources available on my campus.

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Sadly I don’t have any pictures from my first Take Back the Night in 2013

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The crowd at Take Back the Night 2016 in Oxford, MS.

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The chancellor of the University of Mississippi and I at Take Back the Night 2017 in Oxford, MS

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Executive members (past and present) of Rebels Against Sexual Assault at Take Back the Night 2018 in Oxford, MS

 

It is empowering to march down the streets chanting:

Shatter the Silence! / Stop the Violence!

People Unite! / Take Back the Night!

What do we want? / Justice. / When do we want it? / Now!

The people united / will never be divided.

We have the power. / We have the right. / We are here / to Take Back The Night.

I won’t be shamed. / I won’t be blamed.

Take Back My Life.  /   Take Back The Night.

This year I participated in the speak out portion of Take Back the Night. This can be difficult, but it was definitely worth it.

You can read what I said below:


Advocate,

Activist,

Supporter,

Protestor,

Campaigner,

Visionary,

Demonstrator,

Fighter,

Radical.

I’ve been accused of these things more times than I can count.

I wore the words like a badge of honor.

My confidence grew.

My voice was an unstoppable force.

Until

I was marked with a new label.

 

Survivor.

 

I became a member of the very group

I stood up for.

But I couldn’t stand up for myself.

I didn’t even know who I was.

 

I told myself it was my fault

And pushed myself under the rug.

I believed I wasn’t like other survivors.

 

When I first became involved with this cause,

I learned that you can’t help someone

who doesn’t want to be helped,

who isn’t ready.

I learned I was one of those people.

 

If I had seen myself on the street

I would have taken the lost girl under my wing.

I would have fed her,

Reminded her to sleep,

And be kind to herself.

 

Today I will not only stand up for the survivors around me,

But also for myself.

The only survivor I couldn’t look in the eyes.

The only survivor I couldn’t talk to.

 

Today I say #MeToo.

What else could I say to girls like me

And most importantly, myself.

Me Too.

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