The Feminist Collective is hosting Take Back the Night, an annual event designed for community gathering and standing in solidarity with survivors. Events were planned from April 15 to April 25.

Take Back the Night was created for students to stand in solidarity with women and victims of sexual abuse. Organizers aim to foster a healing environment on campus where sexual assault survivors can share their experiences and be heard.

The first event, “Line the Spine,” was held on April 15 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Members of the campus community wrote positive messages in chalk along the spine aimed at supporting victims of interpersonal violence. Isabelle Beatus, the Feminist Collective’s vice president and a senior double-majoring in political science and sociology, explained how “Line the Spine” impacts students.

“We get together, often with students coming and going throughout the day and call out the University directly,” Beatus wrote. “We write the harrowing statistics about sexual violence on this campus, the role Greek life plays in the perpetuating of this violence and rape culture on this campus and get to draw people’s attention to Sexual Assault Awareness Month.”

The week’s second event was a meeting held on April 17 from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., where participants made posters for an annual rally. It will be followed by “Sexual Experiences Discussion: Ask Anything,” on April 19 at 7:30 p.m., which aims to destigmatize sex and relationships by hosting a sex-positive educational workshop that highlights consent and clarity.

Aleena Paulson, the president of the Feminist Collective and a junior majoring in political science, described the campaign’s goals.

“Our biggest priority during Take Back the Night is creating an environment that listens to survivors of sexual and interpersonal violence,” Paulson wrote. “The event aims to center survivors through their experiences, rather than creating a sense of blame and guilt.”

Organizers also intended to pressure the University to provide access to resources for sexual assault survivors, which would ensure accountability and help survivors feel safe in order to mend the mainstream misogynistic culture that is seen on campus. Beatus explained what resources they are asking the University to provide.

“[Feminist Collective] is demanding that the University expand mental health counseling services to make it more accessible to all students and generally more consistent,” Beatus wrote. “Additionally, we are demanding the expansion of the VARCC and Title IX services.”

Paulson explained the struggle survivors often face when speaking out about their experiences.

“There are many institutional factors that limit a survivor’s ability to receive the justice they deserve,” Paulson wrote. “There is a fervent culture of misogyny and rape on this campus that often goes untamed due to institutional priorities. If you doubt the rate at which your peers at [BU] are experiencing sexual assault, I implore you to look at @shareyourstorybing, which has over 800 reported cases of interpersonal violence.”

The main Take Back the Night event will be the “Rally and Survivor Speak Out,” which will be held on April 25 on the Peace Quad at 5:45 p.m. Last year, the rally began with speeches from Feminist Collective members, who were followed by Haley Roma, the assistant director of education and training at the Crime Victims Assistance Center, who spoke on where survivors can access resources for sexual and interpersonal related crimes. Shortly after, E-Board members led the march across campus and ended the event by returning to the University Union Undergrounds to lead a session where survivors of sexual and interpersonal violence had a safe space to speak out on their stories.

Paulson described what she hopes this year’s Take Back the Night will bring to the campus community.

“Justice on this campus seems impossible,” Paulson wrote. “But we hope survivors can find solidarity among a group of peers that are ready to listen and be there for them through Take Back the Night.”