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Saint Mary’s club hosts week of events for sexual assault awareness

| Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO) at Saint Mary’s, with the help of the College’s food services provider Sodexo, demonstrated their support for the nationwide “NO MORE” campaign Monday by providing students with teal-colored doughnuts in the dining hall — teal being the official color of the campaign seeking to end domestic violence and sexual assault.

NO MORE was launched in March 2013, and this week is the official “NO MORE week” across the nation. BAVO is showing their support for the cause by using this week to spread the word and raise awareness about the problems of relationship violence.

BAVO student advisory committee member Michaela Gaughan said in an email that this week will be an opportunity to get people talking about the issues.

“The purpose is [to] spark a conversation about sexual violence on our campus,” Gaughan said. “The campaign works to acknowledge this violence is real and we all have a responsibility to say “no more” to domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.”

On Tuesday night, Gaughan said there will be a spring break send-off event. Students can come, make crafts and enjoy treats in support of the cause.

“I am most excited for the spring break send off. We are partnering with the Green Dot committee and we are hosting [this event] which allows for students to take part in the campaign,” she said.

BAVO ally Carmela LaGambina-Lockwitz said in an email that this week is an opportunity to make it known that these issues continue to be very prevalent in today’s society.

“This week is important because sexual assault and domestic violence occurs every single day, and the first step to putting an end to these terrible acts is by spreading awareness,” she said. “This week spreads awareness of sexual assault and domestic violence with the mentality that it cannot continue happening.”

Gaughan said the message the NO MORE campaign promotes must be heard, and students on campus are the ones who can spread that message best. Coming together can allow for others to be more open to talking about these issues as well as advocate for the prevention of them.

“The campaign encourages the world to ‘speak out with a unified voice for change’ which is what we are doing as a Saint Mary’s community,” she said.

Gaughan said after spring break, BAVO will distribute ribbons to students to further carry the message and continue spreading awareness across campus even after the week has ended.

LaGambina-Lockwitz said the NO MORE campaign focuses on a cause close to her heart, so she is excited to spend a week sharing information with her fellow classmates about a cause she thinks needs more attention.

“I am always excited for weeks like these because ending sexual assault is something I feel very passionate about and it is exciting to see so much momentum and passion across all of campus,” she said.

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