Consent Campaign: Fence Demonstration

Fence with ribbons On October 10, The Consent Campaign placed a fence on the MACC Plaza, an area with high traffic flow. The sign next to the fence instructed passersby to tie a ribbon on the fence for anyone they knew who had been impacted by sexual abuse: blue for sexual assault, purple for domestic violence, black for stalking, and white if they were an ally. Over four days, and with little prompting, over 300 ribbons were tied on the fence.

The demonstration was intended mainly to call attention to the massive number of people who have been sexually assaulted and educate the campus on how relevant it is to Kent State students. However, it had much greater value than the Consent Campaign had anticipated. Members  who watched over the fence were often approached and thanked for setting up the demonstration. In reflecting on the responses received, the Consent Campaign realized that the simple action of tying a ribbon provided an opportunity for the stories of these students and/or their loved one to be acknowledged and, therefore, to matter. There was also a sense of unity in being able to see all the ribbons together. It showed that there was a collective identity among those who had been touched by sexual abuse and reminded those who tied a ribbon that they were not alone. For the members of the Consent Campaign, who soon after adopted a model of mobilizing and empowering survivors, it meant that while individually, the people for whom they were advocating had been robbed of power by their assaults, they had strength in numbers. Together, they could be a powerful force in a situation ripe for change. 

Next:  The Mattress Demonstration

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Students use ribbons to show support for victims of sexual abuse