Every year, the Women’s Center at Boston College sponsors Concerned About Rape Education (CARE) Week. Running from Monday, March 19 to Friday, March 23, various events regarding rape education and anti-rape advocacy will take place on BC’s campus.
These events aim to provide resources and education about issues ranging from the prevalence of rape on college campuses to defining consent and healthy relationships. The week kicks off on Monday with a panel in the 2150 function room at 6 p.m. entitled “Intimate Partner Violence Panel & Sexual Assault Resource Fair,” followed by a discussion at 7 p.m. about setting standards for rape in Hollywood and Capitol Hill.
On Tuesday, BCWC will sponsor a Taekwondo lesson aimed at inspiring strength and power, and a discussion entitled “#MeTooForAll” regarding the connection between ableism and sexual assault.
The hallmark event of CARE week is Wednesday’s “Take Back the Night” event in Lyons Dining Hall from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. This event aims to “create a community of support where survivors tell their stories in front of a large group of peers,” according to the BCWC website. Sharing stories of sexual assault empowers both speakers and listeners, destigmatizing sexual assault and mobilizing bystanders to take action.
There are various art events sponsored by CARE week, such as a pop-up gallery called “Art of Survivorship” in the VPSA lobby on Thursday evening, a painting workshop named “Release” on Friday afternoon, and the “I Care because…” photo campaign running in the mornings all week in the McElroy commons.
In Higgins 310 on Thursday at 7 p.m., Lourdes Ashley Hunter will serve as the keynote speaker. Hunter is the co-founder and national director of Trans Women of Color Collective (TWOCC). This grassroots initiative aims to spread and promote narratives of trans or gender non-conforming people of color. Her talk, “From Surviving to Thriving,” will aim to dismantle rape culture and motivate survivors. In the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, studies found that 47% of transgender people are sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetime. Sexual assault is disproportionately prevalent within the LGBTQ+ community, and Hunter and TWOCC address the intersections of rape prevalence.
Finally, on Friday at 2 p.m. in the Women’s Center, a workshop will occur providing a toolkit to people who have received a rape disclosure. This event is incredibly important in perpetuating a culture of belief, empathy, and justice for survivors.
The Women’s Center states that CARE week is dedicated to “to raise awareness about sexual assault, rape, and intimate partner violence.” According to RAINN, 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 males have been the victim of attempted or completed rape in the U.S. CARE week is provided for all students, despite being provided by the Women’s Center, for everyone is affected in some way by the issue of sexual assault.
More information regarding CARE week can be found on the BC Women’s Center website.