Students across Cambridge wear black to raise awareness of sexual assault
A large number of students gathered outside the UL in black to support the Time’s Up campaign
Over 60 students gathered outside the UL dressed in black as part of the Time's Up: Cambridge Edition campaign.
Students were raising money for the campaign as well as the Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre and awareness of sexual harassment.
A Facebook event was created by King's theology student, Harriet Fisher, and quickly gained momentum. She told The Tab: "I was hugely inspired by the Golden Globes ceremony and the show of solidarity that these amazing powerful women did on a world wide stage. I thought we have a platform here so why not use it."
The original Time's Up campaign was founded in 2006 but has been revived by Hollywood in response to the Harvey Weinstein allegations and the rise in women coming forward to accuse men in powerful positions of sexual misconduct. A number of celebrities, including Reese Witherspoon and America Ferrera, have supported the Time's Up initiatives which include a $13-million legal defence fund to support lower-income women seeking justice for sexual harassment and assault in the workplace and a movement towards gender parity in studio and talent agencies.
The movement in Hollywood has inspired many communities and universities to launch their own Time's Up campaigns in support of victims of sexual harassment. Cambridge demonstrators gathered outside the UL with donation buckets and signed their names on a large piece of paper to show their support.
One demonstrator told The Tab that she was wearing black because "we need to make a statement that sexual harassment is unacceptable and as many people as possible need to get their heads around that."
Fisher told us that she was "so proud" at how well Time's Up had done and that the success of this campaign meant that she was hoping to make the 19th January an annual event, where students could wear black on that day every year.
Not all women participating in the campaign chose to wear black however. Naomi Oldham told The Tab that she was sexually assaulted whilst working as a waitress and whilst she wanted to wear black as a way of supporting other victims, she also wanted to wear colour to show that what happened to didn't force her into mourning colours. "Wearing colour along with black today felt empowering because whilst I was recognising what happened to me I was still in my own way being defiant."
The Time's Up: Cambridge Edition campaign follows other campaigns in Cambridge which target sexual assault and harassment, such as the Break the Silence campaign which coordinated the existing policies and channels for help regarding sexual assault on campus as well as created new initiatives under the tenure of vice-chancellor Professor Stephen Toope.
In total, Time's Up: Cambridge Edition managed to raise £235 for the Time's Up legal Defence Fund and Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre. If you are interested in donated to either, click on the names of the charities.