Lehigh University’s branch of NO MORE, a public awareness and engagement campaign focused on ending domestic violence and sexual assault, spooned the University Center front lawn on Wednesday to promote awareness among members of the Lehigh community.
Spoons were stuck into the ground and assembled in the shape of an O, resembling the organization’s symbol.
The idea of spooning the lawn originated with Emily Raab, NO MORE’s founder and president. In high school, Raab and her friends would stick spoons in the lawns of their friend’s yards as a prank and thought it was a fairly simple idea that would grab attention. Raab hoped that passerby would stop and read a sign accompanying the spoons, therefore helping the organization spread some knowledge and awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault.
“We want to raise awareness on campus and normalize conversations surrounding these issues so that, as a campus, we feel more comfortable talking about and addressing issues of sexual assault and domestic violence and providing more campus-wide education,” Raab said.
College campuses in particular provide an environment where sexual assault can occur and go unnoticed. According to NO MORE’s online website, one in two women and one in five men have experienced some form of sexual victimization in their lifetime.
Emphasizing the importance of raising awareness for domestic violence, Juan Torres, ’16, said, “I come from a background where a lot of families are not together, their parents are missing, and that can lead to other problems like drug addiction or selling drugs, things like that. It is an issue important to attack because it solves future problems…it attacks other issues.”
Brinn McClennan, ’17, said that raising awareness is important to her because people suffering from these issues may be afraid to speak out. By turning attention to the ways in which someone can get involved, one’s living situation can be significantly improved.
Through NO MORE, spreading awareness and helping the cause can be easy. According to Raab, anyone can be as involved or uninvolved as they wish. Students are encouraged to join in at club meetings every other Tuesday in room 290 of Maginnes Hall. Raab also sends out emails to an entire roster list and says that just talking about these issues and bringing them into the light can create a much safer environment on campus.
By spreading awareness and gaining recognition, NO MORE attempts to reach its end goal, which, as described by Raab, is to have no more assaults, no more victims and no more violence.