SOSHA Gathers Community for Solidarity

Survivors of Sexual Harm & Allies held their second annual Take Back the Night event in Tappan Square last Saturday. The event gave space for survivors and allies to gather and was made up of three components: speeches, a march, and a show of resilience through music.

“The energy was honestly very uplifting and very courageous,” said College third-year and SOSHA’s Chair of Community Support Ella Newcomb. “It felt amazing to have people … up there sharing their stories. … I think that one of our strongest things about the community that we’ve created is that we don’t censor survivors. We don’t ask survivors to be anything more than what they are.”

Held at college campuses and in communities around the world, Take Back the Night is an annual event that brings people together to break the association between violence and the night and to stand in solidarity against sexual violence.

During the 2021 summer semester, SOSHA hosted its first TBTN for second and third-years who were on campus; this year’s event was the first Oberlin TBTN to be held during a normal academic year with all class-years on campus. It was primarily organized by Oberlin’s Confidential Advocate Riley Hall and the SOSHA leadership board.

“It’s a great event for visibility as well, because there’s not a lot of places that survivors can go to openly talk about their experiences because there are so many barriers to speaking about it,” said College third-year and SOSHA founder Emma Hart. “There’s a lot of stigmatization just surrounding being a survivor generally. It’s important to have those spaces so that people can come if they consent to hearing those stories.”