The VIP Center held an informational event on the evening of Oct. 21 that explained the impact of sexual violence. There was a shoiwing of a documentary, a march up the mall and a guest speaker. 

Creighton students gathered in the Mike and Josie Harper Auditorium and watched “The Hunting Ground.” The film displayed statistics and the prevalence of sexual violence and assault cases and how they are handled in universities across the nation. 

The 2015 film shared real-life experiences from college student survivors of sexual assault. The survivors soon became advocates for other college students that fell victim to both sexual violence and mistreatment from university administration. 

The guest speaker, Leontyne Evans, who is a survivor engagement specialist with Survivors Rising, came to the event to not only share her past but “to educate,” Evans said in an interview, adding that “education is prevention.” 

Evans added that her purpose for coming to Creighton was to encourage possible survivors and allies to speak out against sexual abuse. 

“My story can change someone else’s,” said Evans. “If I touched one survivor tonight, or encouraged one person to tell somebody their story, it was all worth it.” 

A lot of emotions were visible at the event as Evans spoke to the crowd. 

“Even the most powerful people have weaknesses, but abuse is not your weakness,” Evans said as tears were shed by some attendees. “Decisions for survivors need to be made by survivors, our voices need to be heard.” 

Corine Noethe, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, was one of the students that reached out to Evans after the event and talked with her personally. Noethe was then given a volunteering opportunity with Evans and Survivors Rising. Noethe said she felt reassured knowing that there are resources to help survivors. 

“It was nice to hear from an actual survivor, to someone who can relate,” Noethe said. It’s scary as a woman to be in college and to know that that could be your reality.” 

Before Evans’s presentation, students and staff marched from the Mike and Josie Harper Center to the Skutt Student Center. Along the mall were signs posted with balloons attached. Each sign had information and data regarding sexual violence and its significance all across the country. Each balloon represented a person that came into the VIP Center seeking assistance. 

Litzau expressed her satisfaction with how the event brought so many students together both physically and emotionally. 

“The amount of people that did come is exciting,” said Grace Litzau, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences and VIP Peer Educator Manager. “It’s really important and hopeful that people attend to keep the conversation going.” 

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