Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Women’s Center Brings ‘No More’ Tour to GU

College women shouldn’t put up with sexual assault or domestic violence any more, the university encouraged by sponsoring a recent tour stop. During the “No More.” Tour, which stopped at Georgetown last Thursday, speakers said that one in three women in the U.S. are victims of violence and one in four college women experience sexual violence. The tour is an effort to raise awareness about sexual assault and domestic violence, especially against women. Lili Mathis (COL ’05), the event coordinator, interpreted these statistics to apply to Georgetown. “If everyone knows three people,” Mathis said, “then we all know someone who’s been a [victim] of sexual violence.”

The Georgetown Women’s Center, with support from student group Take Back the Night, helped bring the “No ore.” Tour to campus to educate students and the community about violence against women and to pressure the university administration to take action in addressing sexual assault policies on campus.

“[The event] was a very loud way of telling the administration that something needs to be done,” Mathis said.

The Tour, sponsored by Liz Claiborne and Marie Claire, is part of a nationwide campaign stopping at four college campuses, including Emory University, the University of Texas and the University of Southern California. The coordinators tried to reach large schools in urban areas where they could draw a large audience.

Volunteers from the sponsoring companies visited the Adams organ, Dupont Circle and Georgetown neighborhoods with information and pamphlets before the night event at Georgetown to kick off the tour.

“It’s absolutely amazing there’s actually communication going on,” Mathis said. “A big part of the violence against women is that there is a kind of numbness; it’s viewed as a domestic, private issue so it’s not talked about.”

The goal of the “No More.” Tour is to help remove the stigma attached to violence against women. The sponsors aim to show that there are resources, ways to get out and that violence, regardless of the domestic situation, is unacceptable.

Rosalind Wiseman, best-selling author of Queenbees and Wannabes, facilitated the event, which featured two short films that won the “No More.” contest, as well as a brief performance by female rock trio Del Cielo.

Wiseman stressed the importance of healthy relationships in college and the vulnerability inherent in a new environment. She greatly emphasized the need for men to step forward as allies and advocates, to speak out and support their female friends when they see abuse.

Wiseman spoke from personal experience about abusive relationships in college and stressed that violence against women and sexual assault affects everybody, before introducing the films and one of the creators.

Filmmaker Lori Silverbush said addressing domestic violence can be a complex issue. “That complexity is the source of life’s beauty and the source of life’s pain,” she said. Plans for the “No More.” Tour’s stop at Georgetown have been in the works since last spring. The tour coincides with the addition of a new Sexual Assault and Health Issues coordinator, Shannon Hunnicutt, and discussions to change the university’s sexual assault policy.

The previous night, the Disciplinary Review Committee held a public meeting to hear student opinions on reforming the sexual assault policy to make it clearer and more stringent. The groups involved, including Take Back the Night, AFIRMS and the Progressive Coalition, aim to change the disciplinary consequences for sexual assault and improve the procedures for filing charges and complaints.

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