Sexual Assault Dialogue and “Take Back the Night” Events Uniting Marymount Faculty and Students Around Serious, Sensitive Subject

This week Marymount University is convening campus dialogue and “Take Back the Night” events to exchange information and encourage people to take a stand against sexual assault. 

The issue has been receiving serious attention on college and university campuses nationwide as a result of the Department of Education and Obama Administration’s call for stronger reporting and investigation of sexual assault. In September, the “It’s On Us” campaign was unveiled to inspire personal responsibility in preventing sexual assault.

The Marymount Saints’ Taskforce, which includes students, faculty and staff from various disciplines and campus offices, have developed programming and tools that empower the campus community to take a stand against sexual violence. 

“Sexual assault is a subject not easily discussed as it is so personal for many,” said Gwen Francavillo, assistant professor of health and human performance at Marymount University.  “It does happen; it can happen. When institutions of higher education ignore this issue, students feel silenced. The goal of this task force is to raise awareness and create dialogue on campus. These events will help pave the path for faculty and students to share in a better understanding about what sexual assault is and what we can all do about it.”

“I know many students are afraid of this subject,” said Lia Arias-Centellas, a junior and Student Government Association Senator. “We don’t necessarily know what sexual assault is. Is it rape? And if we’ve experienced it, whom do we tell or if we think we’ve witnessed it, how do we react? I think students will have much more information and feel that they have the resources and support that they need after these events. They will feel like they have a voice and can take action.”

The week’s events include:

Marymount University Campus Dialogue on Sexual Assault
Date/Time: Monday, April 20th at 7 p.m. 
Location: Gerard Dining Hall    

“Take Back The Night” 
Date/Time: Friday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Location: Berg Student Lounge on G1 with the silent walk/candlelight vigil starting from the Rowley Courtyard.