CAMPUS SEXUAL ASSAULT DEMONSTRATION AT TOWSON WITH PUBLIC ART DISPLAY OF 450 SURVIVAL STORIES
Rape is as common on college campuses as beer, football games and toga parties. The ongoing epidemic of sexual assault has been brought to the forefront over the last two years. The youngest students are often the most vulnerable: Female students are most likely to be raped between their first day of college and Thanksgiving break.
Student survivors and activists are raising their voices against unresponsive administrations, institutional cover-ups and untenable rates of violence. These voices will ring out at Towson University on April 14 and 15 during a display of the Monument Quilt.
The Monument Quilt is a bright, red, hand-sewn testament of survival. Each 4-square-foot piece is a story created by a survivor of sexual assault or domestic violence. Over 450 such stories will be displayed at Towson University to call attention to the sexual assaults that occur on campuses across the country. The quilt, which spans more than three basketball courts, is an ongoing project to create a public healing space for survivors of rape and abuse.
For Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the quilt will be displayed from 12 p.m. on Tuesday, April 14 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 15 at the College of Liberal Arts Lawn, located at 8000 York Road, Towson, Maryland. Press is invited to interview organizers from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on April 15. This program is coordinated by FORCE and the Center for Student Diversity at Towson University, and supported by the Office of Student Activities, the Counseling Center, the University Counseling Center’s Sexual Assault Peer Educators and the TU Feminist Collective.
In the U.S., one in five women are sexually assaulted while in college. Obtaining a degree in the U.S. actually increases women’s chances of experiencing rape. College students are not alone in facing an epidemic of sexual violence, andthe quilt’s goal is to broaden the public understanding of those who survive sexual violence by telling many stories, not just one.
The Monument Quilt is a physical space that provides public recognition to survivors and reconnects them with their communities. The quilt and its displays will change how the U.S. responds to rape, moving away from a culture that publicly shames survivors and toward one that publicly supports them. Survivors, loved ones and supporters are invited to make their own quilt square following these instructions.
In case of inclement weather, the quilt will be displayed indoors on April 15 in the Potomac Lounge in the University Union, from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Please contact the Center for Student Diversity at (410)-704-2051 for weather-related updates.