Haylee Followell | Lifestyle |firstname.lastname@example.org
On Oct. 13 in Peden Stadium, there was a sense of solemnity. There are no voices, but over the speakers classical music is being played. The Monument Quilt was a display made up of 1,000 quilts made from survivors of sexual assault and rape, speaking out about their abuse. October 13 marks the first time this display has ever been at Ohio University.
The program FORCE, which is based out of Baltimore, is responsible for the creation of the Monument Quilt. Their goal is to help spread the stories of sexual assault and rape survivors. With combined efforts from the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department, the LBGQT department and many gracious volunteers, the stigma of talking about rape was being dismantled.
With the way our society is ran, we often silence victims and their experiences. The Monument is showcased around many states to help promote conversation, rather than stifle it.
“I think it’s important for displays like the Monument Quilt to be displayed because it generates conversation which leads to action,” Hannah Pridemore, a freshman journalism student and volunteer for the event, said. “The survivors deserve to have a voice and this is one way they can do that. In a society where they’re the ones being oppressed and left without justice, the Monument Quilt is a way to combat that.”
As a volunteer for the program, Hannah got to help viewers understand the quilts and their stories. As well as explaining stories, she also got to hear some of the viewers as well. The experience as a volunteer brought a lot of light to the hard-hitting subject.
Attendee of the event, Beth Rogers, a sophomore exercise physiology major, is one of many students in support of speaking out about assault and sexual abuse.
“I think it’s important to talk about sexual abuse because talking about things like assault, abuse, and rape are never comfortable,” she said. “Opportunities like this give people a platform to be heard… I think the quilt helps give a voice to issues that are very often swept under the rug.”
Many people across the nation are becoming more and more awoke to the heinous crimes of sexual assault and abuse and are trying to bring these issues more to the light. Whether it’s the Monument Quilt, or the new Twitter hashtag, #metoo, many victims are starting to take a stand.