Auburn University students organize display on Carter Lawn to honor sexual assault survivors

Auburn

AU Carter Lawn demonstration

AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – On Auburn University’s campus, Sept. 29, students organized a demonstration using signs from previous protests and flags to bring awareness to sexual assault victims.

This comes after Auburn University’s town hall meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 22.

More than 400 flags were on display, white symbolizing victims who reported sexual violence and red symbolizing incidents that went unreported.

Students of Auburn University were able to see the display while walking down Thach concourse in front of Katharine Copper Cater Hall.

Spreading beyond Auburn University’s campus, students represented the number of cases across all of Alabama’s college campuses.

The flags on Carter Lawn are not an all-inclusive representation, oftentimes cases go unreported and unspoken.

In front of the display read a sign saying, ‘Even one is too many.’

Students at Auburn University have held two separate protests on Toomer’s Corner in response to three reports from the university of sexual assault that were released in the span of one week. The three separate reports were sent out Sept. 8, Sept. 10, and Sept. 14, 2021.

As a response to the protests, Auburn University held a town hall meeting to discuss prevention methods and shared resources for survivors on campus.

However, this was not enough for students, one student in the open form section asked when the university would change the ‘rape culture’ on campus saying as a woman, it shouldn’t be her job to actively avoid being raped. Instead, it should be potential perpetrators job to actively avoid raping.

“I don’t think its been raised enough in this meeting that there is a culture on this campus and on college campuses across the country that encourages abuses of power… We’ve talked a lot tonight about all the things that women can do on campus to make sure that they are not victims. And it’s a burden that we’ve carried for a really long time, and we’ve done it extensively.

There is not a second of any day that you could ask any woman in this room that she is not thinking somewhere in the back of her head about what she’s going to do if the guy behind her is trying to gain on her and not just running late to class. Or, ‘who can I trust to hold my drink at this party while I go to the bathroom,’ ‘can I trust anyone around me to help if I get into a situation that I don’t think I can get out of by myself.’

We are doing everything we can to protect ourselves but the university doesn’t seem to want to help us… because I shouldn’t have to ask for the bare minimum. You should already be doing so much more. And what that means, what that looks like is not placing the blame and the burden on women to protect themselves on campus…

When you say, ‘we have all these options here for you to protect yourself and you got assaulted anyway’ like one in four women do, you’re saying its our fault… when you are asking potential victims to take more responsibility for their safety against potential perpetrators you take responsibility out of the hands of people who want to harm their fellow students.

If you want to start sending a different message then you need to address the root problem not the potential victims of it. That means preventing men from raping instead of preventing women from living.”

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