Today End Rape on Campus (EROC) launched a new program that will shape the movement to end sexual violence in schools. EROC’s Regional Rapid Response Program brings students together nationwide who bring the knowledge, passion, and vigor critical to powering this movement. We refuse to stop fighting this administration as they so desperately try to silence survivors, and now we harness that power to go grassroots. This multi-level approach will permeate anti-survivor policy and rape culture to ultimately end sexual violence.
The first 6-8 weeks of school is the time when students are most likely to be sexually assaulted. Fifty percent of sexual assaults at schools happen between August and November, yet together, with this cohort of students, this back to school time we resist—with action, with healing, and with power. This emerging program kickstarts with twelve student leaders across the nation from Louisiana, Massachusetts, California, New York, Nebraska, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. EROC will take the lead from these students, whom know the complexities and strengths of their own communities, as we work to end sexual violence. EROC will provide mentorship, leadership development, and community as this generation of leaders create the change. This is a movement founded by student survivors for student survivors, and EROC’s Regional Rapid Response Program ensures that this next generation of activists is resisting sustainably.
“For too long, our stories of survival and our stories of resilience have been silenced. That time is over. The movement to end sexual violence in schools does not exist without student voices as a guiding light,” shares Ana Sanz Saumeth, EROC Regional Rapid Response Manager. “The collective power they bring will radically uproot racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, and structures meant to hurt survivors. We resist together. We heal together. We learn from one another. This is culture change.”
Reinvigorating this movement with collective, nationwide grassroots student activism is the spark key to powering the movement to end sexual violence. EROC will resist alongside these students, and do so illustrating, celebrating, and growing resilience—as individuals, as survivors, and as a movement.