Caroline Renfro,

I would like to take a moment to discuss an issue that is vitally important to our community. One in four women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime. It is essential that every member of the Miami community hear about the upcoming events raising awareness of rape and sexual assault, specifically Take Back the Night and the Clothesline Project.

The Clothesline Project, sponsored by the Women’s Center, creates awareness about intimate partner violence occurring in our community. Students, faculty, staff and community members are invited to come to the Women’s Center to create a T-shirt attesting to violence (including rape, incest and domestic violence, as well as violence based on sexual orientation or political beliefs) that they or someone close to them have experienced. You can view these T-shirts at the Hub between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 4 through Wednesday, Oct. 6.

The other inspirational event is called Take Back the Night and is sponsored by the Association for Women Students (AWS). There are two parts to the event. The first is the Speak-Outs, which allow those who have experienced rape or sexual assault to share their stories with others who have also had these experiences. The Speak-Outs will occur at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6 in the Shriver Heritage Room. Immediately following the Speak-Outs at 9 p.m., AWS will begin the Take Back the Night March at the Shriver Reflecting Pool. Marchers will travel across campus to Uptown Park and back. All participants will be asked to chant, carry signs and use noisemakers to claim the night for safety from rape and sexual assault on our campus and in this town.

I hope everyone who reads this will come out to support the Women’s Center and AWS in their fight against rape and sexual assault that affects our Miami community everyday.