Andrews University closes out 'Rise Up Against Abuse' rally on Sunday

NOW: Andrews University closes out ’Rise Up Against Abuse’ rally on Sunday

BERRIEN SPRINGS, Mich. —- On Sunday, advocates and victims of abuse closed out a three-day rally at Andrews University. 

Organizers of the Rise Up Against Abuse rally said they are invested in spreading awareness about the seriousness of abuse. Dominique Gummelt, Director of Wellness at AU said more than 200 people attended rally activities. 

“Rise up against abuse it’s a rally but it’s really a launch rally to this new initiative,” Gummelt said. 

Gummelt and Michael Nixon, AU vice president of diversity and inclusion, put together the rally and the following initiative: 

  1. Raise awareness about all forms of abuse.
  2. Educate about all forms of abuse, related issues & phenomena.
  3. Provide creative and practical opportunities for victims and survivors to be heard, loved and supported.
  4. Provide resources and practical pathways for prevention.
  5. Critically challenge individuals, organizations and institutions to implement effective sustainable changes to prevent all forms of abuse and to take appropriate actions against it.
  6. Critically challenge faith-based organizations, churches, schools, universities and communities to make effective sustainable changes to prevent all forms of abuse, particularly abuse against vulnerable individuals and groups, and to take appropriate actions against it.
  7. Work diligently to bring about policy changes within institutional and organizational contexts to ensure the protection, the prevention of abuse and equality of women.

“As an individual and a survivor in my own right, I’ve sat and cried,” said Sarah McDugal, an instructor at the rally. 

Participants went through workshops, trainings, presentations, and panels. The rally featured the violence against women photo exhibition, rise up Zumba awareness party, and the solidarity wall.

On the solidarity wall, messages like ‘we believe you’ and ‘this does not define you’ were painted on the wall put up on Thursday. University officials said by Sunday it was completely filled with unity messages. 

“We can make a difference in hopefully helping people to get out of situations they don’t want to be in and they didn’t ask to be in,” said Gummelt. 

For more information about the rally and information on available resources, click here

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