Assembled in front of Alumni Hall Tuesday evening, individuals gathered together creating a circle of support and unspoken friendship.
“Take Back the Night,” presented by Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE), proved to be an emotional yet cleansing night for all of those involved. Under the indigo sky, the silence was broken, and students were given their chance to share their stories.
“Take Back The Night” provides people who have faced acts of violence the opportunity to share personal or related stories in a safe and supportive environment. The stories read ranged from cases of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse, illustrating the severity and complexity of issues that so often remain unsaid.
“We want to break the silence that violence creates,” said Jackie Imondi, the president of SAVE.
The event moved across campus, stopping in front of each residence hall, symbolizing how danger often happens right at home.
During this silent procession, the only things seen and heard were the footsteps and embraces from person to person. As each participant shared, people held glow-in-the-dark stars, which gave light and hope to an intense night.
Speakers with a variety of experiences all chose to share for different reasons.
“I chose to speak because this could be healing for myself and others,” stated senior Claudia Severance.
For those who did not come to share, the evening was equally empowering and chilling. It is events such as these that raise awareness to serious issues and remind us all that we are not alone.
“We have a purpose and a goal; we don’t want things to go unsaid or overlooked. We need to help students understand that these things happen,” stated Imondi.
Second-year speaker and Vice President of SAVE Nicole Madera described the event as emotionally breathtaking.
“Now that I get to read the stories that people submit there is an automatic bond that is created that people may never know exists,” said Madera.
For those who have participated in years past, this provides the chance to retell their stories and see how they may have changed since then. While this event provides a chance for sharing, it is also an excellent time for growth and change.
The sharing of intimate and real stories gives the students at Springfield College the opportunity to change the bad to the good and bring attention to topics that need to be addressed.
“I often feel the topic of sexual violence is not talked about enough, and the stories need to be told and heard,” said Severance.
As the event drew to a close, the group made its way to Abbey Appleton Hall. A collection of people who may have arrived at Alumni Hall just an hour before as strangers were now departing as an understanding and united front.
Hopefully in years to come this event continues to grow, and more of the student body is educated about the severity of violence affecting their peers.
Listening and supporting is just phase one of “Take Back The Night.” Now it is up to the student body to carry out this message with them and help shatter the silence.