One Billion Rising event calls students to action
By Julia Sippel, Staff Writer
On Friday, Feb. 12 students and staff gathered in CUB 260 for One Billion Rising. At Gettysburg College, the event is sponsored by the Women’s Center. According to their website, this movement is “the biggest mass action to end violence against women in human history” (http://www.onebillionrising.org/). Since its 2013 inception, the movement has raised awareness for the over one billion (1 in 3 of 7 billion) girls who will be beaten or raped during their lifetimes.
The on-campus event began with a performance by the all-female a capella group, Upscale. Following the act, Esther Waybright of Gettysburg’s local Survivor’s Inc. spoke. This nonprofit organization provides support, discussion and, most importantly, action to aid victims of assault.
Waybright explained the Social Ecological Model for understanding violence and assault. This simplified model shows all points of the spectrum, from the importance of individual understanding and self-care to an overall societal view of the issues at hand. “It is learned behavior for people to be violent,” said Waybright, “so we can learn to be nonviolent.”
From there, discussion took a more creative direction with arts and crafts. Armed with One Billion Rising stencils, participants took to decorating brightly colored t-shirts to commemorate the experience and spread the word. Beyond being a fun freebie to take from the event, the shirts will serve as conversation-starters outside of the formal setting.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of assault, both the counseling center on campus and Survivors, Inc. can help: Survivors Inc. 24-hour hotline: (717) 334-9777, and the Counseling Center: (717) 337-6960.