April 26, 2018
Spring 2018 Edition
Vincennes University’s Student Newspaper
Et Cetera: Saying Goodbye • People: History of the Printing Press in Vincennes• Student Life: Graduating Students
“Love is not pain” Marchers gather to promote sexual assault awareness
photo by Olivia P. Tucker Kerryelle Shaw and other members of the Vincennes community march in support of sexual assault awareness as Shaw holds a sign stating “I can hear you” letting victims know that they have a voice.
“Don’t be scared, you’ve got to find your strength to leave and to stand up and know you’re worth more.” by Olivia P. Tucker staff writer College students and community members of Vincennes gathered outside the Red Skelton Performing Arts Center on April 12 for many different motivations. However, everyone had one common goal: to let those who have been affected by sexual assault and domestic violence know that they are not alone in their own inner struggles. The 400 Females and Friends March was sponsored by the VU Paralegal Association to raise money for Hope’s Voice and the Larry Stearns Memorial Scholarship. Vanessa Purdom, VUPA faculty advisor and VU chair of legal studies stated, “I want to recognize my VUPA students, without the students, there is no way I could have in a million years done this. They have been fantastic.” The members of VUPA include Karen Mincey, Kerryelle Shaw, Sammi Sha-
fer, Kiersten Schitter, Megan Zink and Kimberly Harris Mincey, the president of VUPA and a legal studies major from Bicknell said, “The motive behind the march is to give women their voices back. We no longer want to be victims. We are survivors.” Shaw, the vice president of VUPA, a legal studies major from Hammond, stated, “We hope to scare the predators. We want to show we are not scared and I personally want to intimidate them.” In support of the cause of sexual assault, there were many different community leaders including VU President Charles Johnson, the mayor of Vincennes Joe Yochum and Judge Gara Lee. Students held up different signs saying, “survivor,” “no means no” and “I can hear you.”
“If there is anyone out there that has been a victim of sexual assault or domestic violence, know you’re not alone. We believe you and we support you.”
One sign also said “embrace your voice,” which Purdom said was the national theme and that “we hope today people recognize that they do have a voice.” As the march happened people shouted, “Love is not pain.” Purdom said on the outcome of the march that “over 150 registered and walked” but they had over 250 pre-register. These pre-registers could be from parents of VU students and sponsors who couldn’t make it to the march, but wanted to support the cause. Melissa Haaff, the director of Hope’s Voice, said about the importance of victims of sexual assault getting help, “It’s about creating awareness and making sure we make that community outreach.” Haaff also said, “It’s great to see Vincennes University is really taking a stand as well because... if we want to change the culture regarding sexual assault, it happens with our youth.” She added, “If there is anyone out there that has been a victim of sexual assault or domestic violence, know you’re not alone. We believe you and we support you.” Purdom said, “I think a demonstration like this gives someone that has been a victim of sexual assault the feeling that there are people that care.” Shaw said, “Because when you have a group of women, it causes a big outcome on a person that wants to be a predator. They don’t want us to be strong.” Kelley Kopp Hopwood of Vincennes
said, “Domestic violence is something no man or woman should have to deal with.” Morgan Groff of Vincennes said, “I think that there is a lot of women [who] don’t realize how [many] resources are available to women.” Groff said, “So many different things in the community that [are] very helpful that I didn’t know as I was going through what I went through.” Groff said, “Don’t be scared, you’ve got to find your strength to leave and to stand up and know you’re worth more.” If there is a need to talk to someone about sexual assault, contact Hope’s Voice at 812-886-4470 or the VU Counseling Center at 812-888-4374.
“We hope to scare the predators. We want to show we are not scared and I personally want to intimidate them.”
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