On Wednesday 18 March a candle-lit vigil will take pace from 5pm in aid of the #NeverOK campaign.
Supported by the Chaplaincy, Voice, FemSoc, SAFE and the Devon Rape Crisis Service, the vigil will give students the opportunity to express solidarity for victims of sexual harassment, assault, rape or violence.
Beginning at the Forum Piazza, participants will begin by lighting candles before moving on to the city centre.
Those attending will be given the opportunity to share their experiences and show support for the values of the campaign. It has also been suggested that an item of red clothing should be worn to show support, and red ribbons will be supplied to symbolise the ‘suffering in silence’ that victims of sexual violence and assault face.
The event will also be fundraising for SAFE (Stop Abuse for Everyone), a local charity which ran the women’s refuge in Exeter before it was closed down last year.
Speaking about the vigil, Kate Hawkins, VP Welfare and Diversity, said: “The #NeverOK vigil is inspired by events around the world bringing people together in support of a strong and valuable message. This event will provide a very public opportunity for students to demonstrate their determination to stand against sexual harassment, violence and abuse and I look forward to sharing this special occasion with them.”
The campaign was launched last year by Kate Hawkins and Rachael Gillies, Guild President, to spread the message that sexual harassment is ‘Never OK’ – that “staff and students have the right to live and study in a safe and supportive environment.”
The #NeverOK campaign will be presented by Hawkins and Gillies at the AMOSSHE conference in Newcastle in July, as a model of good practice. It is hoped that this will help educate other university groups on how they might begin to tackle sexual harassment in their institutions, using the success and lessons of the campaign here at Exeter.
Rachel Gelormini, Online News Editorbookmark me