Survivor Speak event at CSUF sheds light on abuse through powerful stories

In Arts & Entertainment, Lifestyle

Audience members watched intently as students shared their inspiring testimonies while others stopped in their tracks after hearing powerful poetry verses authored by survivors of violence.

“Every bruise you gave me, has become a battle shield. Every scar you gave me, has regenerated stronger skin,” was an anonymous survivor’s words recited by a peer educator. 

The CSUF community gathered for Survivor Speak Oct. 11 in the Housing Piazza to provide a sense of security and safety for those who have faced domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault.

This event was hosted by the WoMen’s and Adult Reentry Center and co-hosted by Housing and Residential Engagement and the Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc. to educate, spread awareness and empower survivors of violence.

During the event, brave survivors discussed their experiences to encourage and inform the community that they are not alone and help is always available. The survivors aimed to create an environment that made it clear that their experiences are unacceptable.

Some peer educators were fillers who went on stage in between the survivors’ stories. They read statistics, which shed a light on how endemic these acts of violence are and how difficult it can be to speak up.

“60 percent of acquaintance rapes on college campuses occur in casual or steady dating relationships,” according to one statistic shared from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Several tabling activities, like writing letters and drawing pictures, were also available during Survivor Speak to educate students and provide an opportunity to gain a better understanding of domestic violence and other forms of abuse. Students were able to write down examples on how someone can exert power and control. At one table, participants could also learn the difference between a healthy and unhealthy relationship.

By going to each table and collecting six signatures, students had the chance to be entered into a raffle drawing and win prizes like CSUF gear.

A new inclusion for this year’s event was a wall titled #TheyDontHitYouBut, which was dedicated to emphasizing emotional, verbal and psychological abuse, because it often goes undiscussed. Students wrote down their experiences starting with the line “They don’t hit you but…” on the front wall. On the back of the wall they wrote supporting messages on heart-shaped paper to remind survivors and victims of their bravery.

In support of survivors, volunteers were also present to help out at the event.

“Personally, it’s being the voice of people who don’t have a voice, and creating awareness and touching someone that is maybe going through something and letting them know there are resources,” said LTA President Crystal Sagastume.

By having events like Survivor Speak, the WoMen’s and Adult Reentry Center aims to highlight these ongoing issues.

The WoMen’s and Adult Reentry Center will host The Role of Culture in Power and Control Oct. 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Titan Student Union Pavilion AB.

Those in need of help can reach out to the following campus resources:
WoMen’s and Adult Reentry Center
Campus Confidential Advocate Magdalena (Maggie) Diaz
Email: [email protected]
Main Line: 657-278-3928
Direct Line: 657-278-5243
Counseling & Psychological Services Students Only
Phone: 657-278-3040

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