Support for sexual assault survivors was in full effect at Humber College’s second annual Take Back the Night event.
The event took place on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, in the Learning Resource Commons at Humber College’s north campus. Take Back the Night started off with attenders being asked to inflate the thunder clappers that were provided in order to make noise.
Humber College’s dean of students, Jen McMillen told the crowd of more than 50 that, “Members of our Humber community continue to experience sexual violence… we would like it to affect fewer of us in the future.” There were no student survivors that felt comfortable enough to speak out at the event and the dean wanted to change that. McMillen encouraged students to let her know what needed to be done, in order to make the campus safer.
The main speaker, Yamikani Msosa, said it is important to take a stand against sexual violence. Msosa said, “One in three women will experience some form of sexual violence” and “90 per cent of survivors will never report their experiences.” Msosa said it is important to provide support to survivors: “All of us are in this together. All of us have a part to play on campus to stop sexual violence.” Msosa said it is important to encourage others about sexual violence and even if they are clueless “we should use that to educate” and not downplay them.
The march began in front of the LRC and continued down Arboretum Blvd. Supporters and survivors chanted things like “Stop the violence no more silence,” and carried signs that said various things like, “Whether it’s night or day assault is not ok.”
Saffron Aldred, whose sign read, “No more silence” said, “I was verbally sexually harassed… I told him to get lost… I told him it was sexual harassment. You need to be the one to say something because you don’t know how many people that they’ve done that to and they think it’s OK. I’m not gonna take that.”
Nikiesha Clarke, a University of Guelph-Humber student, said, “I feel like I’m a part of the community by supporting survivors. I feel like I can make a change.”
Ignite vice-president Stokely Lindo said, “We are not going to be taking this anymore and we are taking back the night. We are taking back all of the emotional hurt that has affected us. We are taking it back and we are making a stand to do something right.”