Flickering in the glow of candles, students stepped forward to share the anonymous testimonials of sexual assault survivors. Sophomore Cason Whitcomb stood in the crowd, listening to the stories of triumph and struggle.
“The lighting of candles is very visually impactful and the fact that some of the speakers also lit candles that have gone out is beautiful,” Whitcomb said. “It feels supportive when you’re sitting there.”
Project Dinah transformed the Pit into a safe space for allies and survivors of sexual assault during its annual event “Speak Out! Against Sexual and Interpersonal Violence.”
“It’s funny — you’re in the middle of campus, completely exposed, but you feel as though you’re in a safe space,” Whitcomb said.
Project Dinah was founded in 2004 and seeks to end sexual violence by raising awareness in the UNC community. As the kick off for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the event brought pressing issues to the heart of campus for all to see.
“Having it in a public space gives people all the freedoms,” said Maddy Frumkin, co-chairwoman of Project Dinah.
“If someone wouldn’t necessarily seek this experience out, they can still be a part of it; it also allows survivors seeking support to not feel like they’re singling themselves out by coming because everybody goes to the Pit.”