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Belles Against Violence sponsor It’s On Us Week

| Monday, October 10, 2016

The Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO) will sponsor It’s On Us Week, a national campaign to raise awareness for sexual assault.

BAVO ally Gabrielle Holland said It’s On Us is a nationwide campaign and students are encouraged to sign a pledge recognizing non-consensual sex as sexual assault.

“It’s On Us is a national campaign to put an end to sexual assault,” Holland said. “Everyone is encouraged to sign a pledge stating they will recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault, be able to identify situations where it might occur and intervene in those situations to create an environment that will not stand for sexual assault.”

BAVO ally Carmela LaGambina-Lockwitz said It’s On Us was created to support survivors of sexual assault.

“It’s On Us really highlights the idea that every person has a role to play in stopping or preventing sexual assault,” LaGambina-Lockwitz said. “Whether they see one about to occur or see someone pour something in someone’s drink, everyone is called to be an active bystander.”

BAVO ally Emily Scott said the campaign is for all students and promotes safety throughout college campuses.

“It’s On Us is very important to me because it makes everyone responsible for preventing sexual assault and promoting a safe environment on college campuses,” Scott said.

Throughout the week, several events are planned to help raise awareness, including a Town Hall Climate Study Forum, Belles for Strength yoga and a soccer game.

Holland said Monday’s forum will focus on a campus climate survey taken by Saint Mary’s students.

“President Cervelli will be announcing the results to our climate study,” she said. “The climate study is taken by Saint Mary’s students and is a list of questions pertaining to sexual assault and violence. From there, the study is compared to other schools and our results are measured from there. This gives students the opportunity to see how prevalent sexual assault is on or around our campus.”

Holland said there will also be a soccer game in honor of domestic violence awareness on Wednesday.

“Our soccer team will be supporting It’s On Us and promoting our message,” Holland said. “There will also be donations towards a local charity.”

LaGambina-Lockwitz said Thursday is a special day for It’s On Us week.

“Thursday is ‘We Wear Purple’ day to boost awareness because purple is the color that represents domestic violence,” LaGambina-Lockwitz said.

Students will also get the opportunity to sign a pledge promising to be an active bystander during Friday’s pledge drive, LaGambina-Lockwitz said.

The pledge will be inside the Noble Family Dining Hall and available online at itsonus.org.

Scott said students are not limited to raising awareness solely for this week.

“Students can attend the events for the Week of Action, take the It’s On Us pledge, attend BAVO events and trainings, like and share BAVO posts on social media and educate themselves on the issues of sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking,” she said.

LaGambina-Lockwitz said she hopes all students decide to participate and become active in raising awareness for sexual assault and domestic violence.

“’It’s On Us’ to stop sexual assault and change the statistic from 1 in 4 to 0 in 4,” LaGambina-Lockwitz said.

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About Gina Twardosz

Gina Twardosz is a senior English Writing and Communication Studies double major at Saint Mary's College. She's the co-editor of the Investigative Unit, a Saint Mary's social media liaison, and she occasionally writes for SMC News and Scene. Gina is a tried and true Midwesterner and yes, she does say "ope" often.

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