Executive Managing Editor
“Not Alone” proclaimed a cut-out arrangement of red fabric laying on the ground at Storke Plaza on Tuesday. The artwork was one of many expressions decorating the Monument Quilt, which represented the words of sexual assault survivors on the University of California, Santa Barbara’s campus.
The student group Take Back the Night held the event, which ran between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Different squares of fabric comprised the quilt, which featured painted messages like “it’s not my fault,” “silence hides violence,” and “love shouldn’t hurt.” The statements were part of an effort to “show solidarity” with survivors, as well as with the commemorative Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which takes place in April.
“We brought the Quilt here because 1/4 women and 1/8 men are sexually assaulted,” TBTN wrote in a Facebook message to The Bottom Line. “We brought the Quilt here because too many member [sic] of the LGBTQIA+ community are affected. We wanted to support survivors and let them know that they are not alone.”
Monument visitors shared pictures of the display on Facebook, commending the organizers for the work. Attendees streamed into Storke Plaza throughout the day, pausing to read the words painted on each quilt.
“We want people to read real people’s stories and struggles and understand why this is such an important issue,” the group wrote.
In addition, TBTN provided a DIY-quilt station, which allowed students to craft their own designs and messages and contribute to the quilt on the spot. UCSB’s Counseling and Psychological Services was also present at the event to provide help to students on-site.
Upcoming events to recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month by TBTN and other campus services include Wear Denim Day on Wednesday, according to a calendar published by Campus Advocacy Resources and Education. The month has also already featured events like a Mindful Meditation Lunch, yoga sessions, and lectures by various speakers on the issue of sexual assault.
TBTN is currently vying for reaffirmation on the 2017 Associated Students Elections ballot. Students can vote through Thursday at 4 p.m whether to reaffirm the group’s lock-in fee of $0.49.
“We hope that people know that we are here as a resource and as a support system and that they are always welcome to get involved,” TBTN wrote. “We hope that visitors came away with a sense of healing and understanding that will only continue to grow.”