7000 in Solidarity, a campaign against sexual assault, continued Consent Week by organizing a “Survivor Speak Out” Thursday night in the CAPS Large Conference Room on campus.
UCLA students gathered in an attempt to address the stigma and silence that so often surrounds these cases of assault. With the entire organizing staff sporting shirts that said “there are no blurred lines when it comes to consent,” this group is clearly doing everything in their power to bring our university’s rape problem to light.
In an attempt to support survivors, organizer Savannah Badalich, and managers Claudia Varney and Chrissy Keenen, created a safe space for people to share their personal and often violent stories of abuse. Assisted by the support of a CAPS (UCLA Counseling and Psychological Services) therapist and a survivor from RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network), 7000 in Solidarity hosted a sort of group therapy to let students know that they are not alone.
At a time when talking about sexual abuse can feel embarrassing or taboo, this portion of consent week was designed to give students the opportunity to speak without fear of rejection, denial, or judgment.
After various students discussed their histories, one anonymous speaker stated that she had once lived in a “silent hell,” and it was only through giving a voice to these nameless and heinous acts of violence, that the burden of suffering was able to be lifted.
This Friday will conclude the events of consent week with a “Know Your Rights, Know Your Resources: Information Panel.” The event will be held at Kerckhoff Grand Salon from 1:30-3:30pm and all are welcome to attend.
As a resource for survivors of sexual assault, 7000 in Solidarity can be contacted through their Facebook page, or through their weekly meetings on Monday at 7pm in Kerckhoff 313.