A group of student artists on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus recently came together to address the “Stranger Danger” myth that is so pervasive on college campuses about sexual assault. Alaina Braswell, Laura Melosh, Natasha Martin, Kelly Young, Hui Hsieh decided to create an art-based bystander intervention project called “Pink Light” to help prevent sexual assault on campus. Senior Laura Melosh describes the project:
“We decided as a group that we wanted to do an art project that addressed the “stranger danger” myth on UNC Chapel Hill’s campus. Over 500 blue lightemergency poles are installed around campus to help those who find themselves in emergency situations. While these blue lights are great additions to campus security, they do little to raise awareness about high risk situations for sexual assault. The vast majority of sexual assaults are committed by acquaintances or friends of the survivor, yet these emergency poles do little to alert people to this real risk. Our group made a “pink light,” similar to the blue lights installed around campus, and brought it to places we consider high risk for young college women like parties or bars. The bright pink pole attracts a lot of attention! We liked the idea that we as women can support and remind other women to take care of themselves and each other by remembering that sexual assault happens everyday, in places that we often deem ‘safe’ and ‘low risk.’ As of today we decided to expand the project to a blog with information on sexual assault prevention and reports of the ongoing project. We will also include more photos and video there!”
Check out the group’s YouTube documentation of their project here!
Projects like this exemplify the collective responsibility all of us have to end interpersonal violence.
The creative endeavors of this group serve as an example to all of us about how to be allies
and active bystanders to prevent sexual assault and other forms of violence!