Features

Break the silence event with SMART and QIPOC

SMART and QIPOC are teaming up to host Break the Silence on Monday, April 10 at the Cedar Commons from 6-8 p.m.

BY ASHLEY PARENT, STAFF WRITER


SMART and QIPOC are teaming up to host Break the Silence on Monday, April 10 at the Cedar Commons from 6-8 p.m.

Break the Silence is an event that was started two years ago by Sarah Super. Super is a victim survivor who uses her experience to make a change and create a space for survivors to share their stories and have a community.

Break the Silence is similar to Take Back the Night in that survivors of sexual assault have a space to share their story, but it is more structured. The event is more “grassrootsy” because people have the chance to come up and speak as they feel comfortable. At a Break the Silence event, survivors sign in and receive a number if they want to break their silence or be part of the truth-telling. When their number is called, they have the chance to speak. There is no pressure to tell a story after signing in.

Once the survivor’s number is called, they will approach the middle of the circle and say “hello my name is ___ and I’m a survivor of___.” Everyone is given two to three minutes to tell as much or as little as they want. The survivors will end the truth-telling with “and I am breaking the silence.” After breaking the silence, our facilitators Maddie Johnson and Sammy Coy will help the survivor light a candle and place it in the middle of the circle.

This space is for student survivors and allies from Augsburg and the UMN. There will be gift bags for survivors to take home after the event with notes of encouragement created by allies and volunteers. Sharing one’s story and telling one’s truth is a brave act, so one should not feel pressured to do so unless you are comfortable.

We welcome all who want to share their story and want to support those who have been through trauma. If you are an ally and would like to volunteer with the check-in table, gift bags or food, email Rosie Attiyeh at attiyehr@augsburg.edu.

Organizers of truth-telling events Sarah Super and Abbey Sanborn as well as advocates from Cornerstone Advocacy Service will be joining us at this event.