#NOMORE Campaign Featured on Campus

Choate’s Diversity Student Association (CDSA) invited students to participate in the photo series campaign “#NoMore.” All around campus there are posters with photos of faculty and students holding up signs. The signs have handwritten messages like “No more bystanders,” “No more calling victims LIARS,” and “No more network of enablers.”
NO MORE, an organization started in 2013, provides a “visual way to express support for ending domestic violence and sexual assault,” as said on its website. Its mission is to bring issues of domestic violence and sexual assault and abuse of men, women, and children to global attention.

Rebekah Agwunobi ’19, a CDSA member, said NO MORE’s hashtag “is a specific response to ‘justifications’ of rape and sexual assault used to blame survivors, and the campaign requires all of us to stand as allies against ‘victim-blaming’ and rape culture in our own communities.” The purpose of #NoMore is to “ignite a student-led initiative against sexual violence and change the conversations about rape and consent on our campus.”

In addition, Kathryn Phillips ’20 said the long-term goal of the photo series campaign is “to all work together in the community to solve problems and try to take steps toward taking action.” Agwunobi added, “In an extremely privileged community, we often fail to recognize the realities of domestic violence and sexual assault in our community”.

CDSA began their photo series by contacting a variety of student groups and teams to participate. One problem CDSA faced in terms of student participation was the lack of student diversity. “What we are trying to do is bring people from the whole school, not just people we know are supportive of the topic,” explained Phillips. She continued, “A trend I have noticed is that people don’t know what to say, so they avoid the campaign entirely.”

Despite this, CDSA received a good turnout. Dominic Thomas ’21 said that he participated in the campaign “to help end sexual assault and encourage others to stand up and speak out.”
Sam Kaplan ’19 said, “I read about the campaign and decided I wanted to be a part of it. I have seen similar things around campus and their impact on people.”

Similarly, Shraya Poetti ’19 said, “Every single person who participates is important.” She also said that fostering more candid conversation about domestic and sexual violence is important because “we are not always going to be in a community that fosters protection for people in those situations. I think only addressing part of the issue, which is sexual assault — the umbrella term — is not enough. You’re not going to be in the Choate bubble forever, so you need exposure to these hard topics.”

Participant, Matt Brown ’19, wrote “No more excuses” on his poster because he feels as though “there are a lot of stigmas that are covered up by just being able to explain your way out of it or saying, ‘it’s just the way it has always been.’” Brown decided to get involved because of his motivation to stand against sexual violence and bring awareness to the problem. He says that “it never hurts to have more exposure and for more people to know about issues like this, just because that can stop something from happening in the future.”

Pictured beside Brown, Alice Volfson ’19 decided to get involved with the campaign because “the slightest bit of activism brings attention to the problem and brings us closer to the solution.”

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