Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Students march to battle sexual violence

April 17, 2012
From Left, English education junior Amy Baditoi and psychology junior Preethi Bandri march down Grand River Ave. during Take Back the Night March Tuesday night on Grand River Ave. Take Back the Night spreads awareness about sexual assault. Aaron Snyder/The State News
From Left, English education junior Amy Baditoi and psychology junior Preethi Bandri march down Grand River Ave. during Take Back the Night March Tuesday night on Grand River Ave. Take Back the Night spreads awareness about sexual assault. Aaron Snyder/The State News —
Photo by Aaron Snyder | and Aaron Snyder The State News

Editor’s note: This article was altered to accurately reflect Edington’s history of abuse.

At 13 years old, Kari Edington woke up one morning and decided she didn’t want to take the sexual abuse she was experiencing anymore.

She ran to Madison, Wis., where she came across a Take Back the Night march and realized she was not alone.

This year, the English and secondary education senior was part of a committee to continue the anti-sexual violence event at MSU.

On Tuesday, about 30 people marched across campus from the Union to East Lansing’s 54-B District Court to battle sexual violence as part of Take Back the Night — an international movement to end sexual violence.

Movement-related campus events included workshops, T-shirt making, a rally and a march hosted by groups including MSU’s Women’s Council, COMPASS MSU, Sexual Assault Crisis Intervention team and MSU Safe Place, Edington said.

Edington, a member of MSU’s Women’s Council, said she thinks the march helps both survivors of sexual violence and co-survivors — those who know a victim or indirectly have been affected by sexual violence.

“I would never wish for anyone to go through anything like sexual relationship violence,” she said. “The fact that people do and are willing to talk about it is what hit me.”

Psychology senior Rachael Schpak attended the rally and the march.

“I think it’s inspiring how people can be so candid on the spot with something so personal,” she said, adding being a woman brings the issue closer to home.

Peter Croce, an interdisciplinary studies in social science senior and co-founder of COMPASS MSU — a group of peer educators committed to examining masculinity — said he does not blame any particular group for sexual assaults.

“We don’t consider ourselves saviors to women at all,” said Croce, who attended the march. “We’re not knights, we’re just allies.”

Although Croce has not personally been a victim of sexual assault, he believes everyone is a co-survivor because sexual violence affects so many people.

Melissa Dey Hasbrook, a writer and community organizer in the Lansing area, said she is a survivor of sexual and domestic violence, and she was excited to lead a collage workshop and read her poetry at a rally before the march, she said.

“By sharing my story, I hope others are encouraged to speak out their stories and put their experience in writing or spoken word,” she said.

“I do what I do because I have found that by hearing other people’s stories, I am uplifted
and inspired.”

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