Announcing the Winners of the Break The Silence Awards!

Announcing the Winners of the Break The Silence Awards!

During the recent Speak Up To Take Rape Culture Down Summit at Harvard University, Futures Without Violence announced the Betsy McCandless Break The Silence Awards, which supports college campaigns and activities that encourage survivors, allies, and bystanders to take action or speak out against gender-based violence on campus.

We’re pleased to announce the award recipients, who will receive funding for their initiatives! The Break The Silence Awards honor the legacy of Betsy McCandless, a graduate of Simmons College who was murdered by her violently abusive ex-husband. The awards were started by Betsy’s brother Stephen to honor her memory.

Congratulations to the 2014 award recipients!
Lasell College
As part of their project, Peer Health Educators at Lasell College will create a training program for students that accurately portray college-based domestic violence. The training will be modeled after the “In Their Shoes” and “In Her Shoes” program created by the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence. It will also include information gathered from interview with survivor resources on campus and in the community.
University of Massachusetts Lowell
The No One Left Behind club at the University of Massachusetts Lowell works to raise awareness on domestic violence and sexual assault with peers, faculty, staff, and the general public of Lowell. Their Break TheSilence project will use fun and educational awareness raising and workshops during the first week of the fall 2014 semester. These events will focus on working with incoming freshmen around the issues of sexual assault and domestic violence on campus.

MIT Students Advocating For Education on Respectful Relationships (SAFER²) is an MIT group aiming to reduce sexual violence and advocate for healthy relationships. As part of their Break The Silence project, SAFER will expand their campus efforts to include: dorm workshops, lobbying for harassment training, and developing an educational poster campaign on campus. They will also use the award to support the first summit on sexual assault and harassment called: One Night Stand for Student Rights.

Simmons College
The Betsy’s Friends Organization, founded in 1997 at Simmons College, is an organization dedicated to reducing intimate partner violence and gender-based violence on campus, primarily through the education of these sensitive topics. The purpose of the project is to create a two-part initiative, called IIRT, at Simmons College with the goal of informing, identifying, reporting and treating situations of intimate partner violence.  The project is a comprehensive, LGBTQ-friendly, multilingual initiative that will be used as a prototype for other colleges.
Northeastern University
The Violence Support, Intervention and Outreach Network (ViSION) at Northeastern University provides a coordinated campus and community response to sexual assault and all types of violence. Their project entails updating an existing bystander awareness video/public service announcement. The announcement will be played during all new student orientation programs reaching approximately 3,500 new students each year. It will also be broadcast campus-wide via student affairs and academic programming, athletic events, and social media.

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