Take back the night photo
April 8, 2015

LACEY, Wash. — At least one of every three women and one in six men worldwide experience some form of sexual violence but less than half of the victims report these crimes, according to the Take Back the Night international program. Saint Martin’s University will issue its own call to action against these violent crimes during its seventh annual Sexual Assault Awareness Week, which will be held on the Lacey campus April 9 and April 13-17. All activities are free and open to the public.

“The Saint Martin’s community stepped up in a big way last year and made it clear that we have zero tolerance for violence,” says Brittany Reed, assistant director of Campus Life. “We are building on that momentum with this year’s programs. Each event seeks to educate and empower our community with regards to power-based personal violence. Each year we want to be one step closer to ending this violence.”

The activities will include the annual Take Back the Night candlelight march, to be hosted on campus Thursday, April 16.

The candlelight march is held at locations around the globe to demand the end of all forms of sexual violence. Bringing together survivors, their supporters and community members, Take Back the Night marches have empowered people of all ages, races, religions, backgrounds and genders to raise a collective voice against sexual assault for more than 30 years. The first documented Take Back the Night event in the U.S. occurred in October 1975, when citizens rallied in Philadelphia to protest the stabbing murder of Susan Alexander Speeth, a young microbiologist who was attacked as she was walking alone. The first international Take Back the Night took place in Belgium in March 1976 at The International Tribunal on Crimes Against Women. More than 2,000 women from 40 countries participated.

The first event at Saint Martin’s, a presentation on “The Male Perspective,” will be held Thursday, April 9, at 7 p.m. on the 3rd floor of Cebula Hall. Presenter Mollie Monahan-Kreishman, Ph.D., will share stories and lessons learned from over a decade spent working with men to end sexual violence on campus. Coming to the conversation from multiple perspectives, Monahan-Kreishman, a consultant for college campuses on the topic of sexual assault and domestic violence, is able to speak not only as a campus change agent, but also as a writer, researcher and a rape survivor, herself. Monahan-Kreishman received her Ph.D. in College Student Counseling and Personnel Services from the University of Maryland College Park. Her dissertation was on the lived experience of sexual assault survival for women in college.

More details of the events scheduled on campus throughout Sexual Assault Awareness Week are as follows:

Monday, April 13: The Clothesline Project, noon and 7 p.m., in the Trautman Union Building (TUB):The Clothesline Project was established in 1990. Individuals affected by violence, or who know others who have experienced violence, are invited to express their feelings by decorating a shirt that will be displayed on campus as a testimony to the issue of sexual violence.

Tuesday, April 14: Healthy Relationships: How TV Skewed Our Judgments, 4:00 p.m., in the TUB: An examination of the dynamics of famous TV couples and how they portray, or do not portray, examples of healthy relationships.

Wednesday, April 15: Drinking and Consent, 4:00 p.m., in the TUB: Join Jason Kilmer, Ph.D., substance abuse prevention program coordinator at Saint Martin’s, Tim McClain, director of Housing and Residence Life at Saint Martin’s, Prosecuting Attorney Craig Juris and Sexual Assault Advocacy Specialist Simon Conrad in a panel discussion on the relationship between alcohol, consent and the law.

Thursday, April 16: Take Back the Night candlelight march, 7:30 p.m., in the TUB: Bringing together survivors, their supporters and community members, Take Back the Night marches have empowered people of all ages, races, religions, backgrounds and genders to raise a collective voice against sexual assault. The march will extend across campus; at the conclusion, participants will be invited back to the TUB for refreshments and a closing activity.

Friday, April 17: Day of Silence, all day: Day of Silence is a national day of action in which students across the country vow to take a form of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBTQ bullying and harassment in schools.

Saint Martin’s University is an independent, four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washing¬ton. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedic¬tine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 25 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes nearly 1,200 under¬graduate students and 323 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and 350 more students to its extended campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Centralia College and Tacoma Community College. 

For additional information:

Brittany Reed
Assistant Director, Campus Life
360-486-8877; BReed@stmartin.edu

Meg Nugent Dwyer
Media relations manager
360-412-6126; MDwyer@stmartin.edu