Turn off the Violence
Each October since 1997, Student Support and Advocacy Center has sponsored a week dedicated to helping the Mason community work to end violence against women and honor its victims. The week brings awareness of sexual violence and dating/partner violence to campus. Turn Off the Violence (TOV) Week events include The Clothesline Project and Mason’s annual Take Back the Night rally.
The Clothesline Project
Developed in 1990, The Clothesline Project is a global effort to raise awareness sexual and intimate partner violence. Survivors and supporters can decorate shirts to honor victims and break the silence surrounding these crimes. The Clothesline is an educational tool for the community, a healing tool for survivors, and a reminder to victims that they are not alone. By designing a shirt, survivors and their supporters gain a voice and promote healing. For more information about the national project, visit ClotheslineProject.org.
Every year since 1997, Mason has participated in The Clothesline Project and currently has over 500 shirts. For the duration of TOV Week, shirts are hung daily in the groves surrounding Robinson Halls and the walkway between Student Union Building I and Fenwick Library. Students can heal by creating their own shirts and passers-by can gain a deeper understanding of victim trauma. The project is especially eye opening for those who have never thought about sexual violence and dating/partner violence and its occurrence on the Mason campus. To make a shirt for the exhibit see details about 2015’s project in the fall!
The White Ribbon Campaign
In 1991, a handful of Canadian men started The White Ribbon Campaign to encourage men to work to end violence against women. The campaign and its efforts to educate men and boys have spread globally. By wearing a white ribbon men visibly demonstrate their pledge to “never commit, condone, or remain silent about violence against women and girls.” Through events and education, the campaign encourages men to respect women and act as a role model for their peers and future generations. To learn more, visit the White Ribbon Campaign website.
The White Ribbon Campaign at George Mason occurs each fall during Turn Off the Violence Week. White ribbons are given out with attached information promoting awareness among men on the Mason campus. This campaign enlists the support of fraternities, student athletes, and other groups to raise awareness of the impact men can have on stopping violence. The White Ribbon Campaign will be going on throughout the week. To pick up a white ribbon for yourself or a friend, come to the Grove outside of Harris Theater and Sub 1 Monday through Thursday, October 6-9th between 11:00 and 2:00 or stop by the Student Support and Advocacy Center office during normal business hours.
Fear 2 Freedom 2014
On October 7th, 2014, Mason assembled hundreds of “Fear 2 Freedom” (F2F) after-care kits which are an essential element to healing provided for those affected by sexual assault, child abuse, domestic violence, and sex trafficking. The F2F kits assembled at Mason were distributed to our very own Student Health Services, Wellness, Alcohol and Violence Education Services (now the Student Support and Advocacy Center), and local area hospitals in Fairfax and Prince William counties.
Fear 2 Freedom is a global non-profit dedicated to redeem and restore the lives of those affected by sexual assault, bringing them hope and healing. Our goal is to raise awareness of sexual abuse, bring change through vigilance and healing through compassion. We are in the business of “restoring joy” to those who have been sexually assaulted, encouraging them on their own journey from fear to freedom.
Take Back the Night
International grassroots marches and rallies have advocated against sexual violence throughout the past thirty years under the slogan Take Back the Night (TBTN). The Take Back the Night Foundation was created in 2001 to support these efforts and to fashion a movement of awareness, empowerment, healing, and support. Sponsored rallies, marches, and vigils give voice to survivors of rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse, and domestic violence. The rally provides a safe place to celebrate the night without fear and creates awareness in the larger community. For more information, visit the Take Back the Night website.
George Mason University hosts Take Back the Night annually during the fall Turn Off the Violence Week. Started in 1997 by Student Support and Advocacy Center, this event incorporates a rally with speakers, performances and a march through campus to raise awareness of sexual violence. The rally is co-sponsored by the Women and Gender Studies Department and the Feminist Student Organization. The rally promotes education on campus and support of victims. Take Back the Night will be held in the fall.
Following Take Back the Night, Survivor Space began in 2000 as a way for survivors to join Student Support and Advocacy Center in speaking out against sexual and domestic violence. Whether it is a recent or previous experience, survivors of sexual abuse, sexual assault, or intimate partner violence are welcome to find and offer support and encouragement. In this supportive and safe setting, participants can explore the impact their victimization has had on their lives by relating with others who have experienced similar traumas. Counselors and advocates are also available to help individuals interested in privately discussing an incident or working through any difficulties. Survivor Space will be happening this fall.
Intimate Partner Violence Panel Discussion
Women and Gender Studies hosted an Intimate Partner Violence: A panel discussion with survivors and professionals who work with abusers on October 8th 2014.
The Goddess Diaries
The Goddess Diaries is an ensemble performance of personal narratives of women’s lives—some funny, some heartbreaking— interspersed with music and dance.
The Goddess Diaries raises awareness of women’s issues and is a fundraising vehicle for women-based charities. Proceeds of the show will benefit the Women and Gender Studies Department at GMU.
Ticket information will be provided this fall.