Using pins, posters, parties, videos, and even blue-frosted doughnuts, five colleges in Birmingham, Alabama, are adopting the NO MORE mission to stop sexual assault and violence.
Allison Dearing spearheads campus outreach and prevention efforts as campus coordinator for the city’s Crisis Center, Inc. Her job is funded through a 2012 grant to Reduce Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking on Campus, through the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women.
She works closely with these five Birmingham colleges — Samford University, Birmingham-Southern College, Miles College. University of Montevallo, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham — to provide education and support alongside school police, student affairs, residential life, and other important campus resources.
Male and female students see the symbol as empowering and inclusive.
“Because our universities are so diverse and unique, we needed a unifying theme and symbol to spread awareness,” she says. “We needed something to really galvanize our efforts to combat sexual assault, and NO MORE was the obvious choice.”
Students connected with the NO MORE message right away.
Dearing started by ordering a few NO MORE pins and distributing them. It caught on. Her contacts at each school began downloading the NO MORE toolkit and coordinating their own NO MORE themed events. Dearing launched a NO MORE Birmingham Facebook page to chronicle events and to share NO MORE photos at each school.
“Students see our posters and walk by and say, ‘Hey, I know NO MORE!’ Maybe they were watching an SVU marathon and saw a PSA. NO MORE has been reinforced in the media, and this just strengthens the momentum. Male and female students see the symbol as empowering and inclusive,” Dearing says.
‘I know exactly what you need, and I know exactly why you’re doing it. NO MORE!’
Better yet, the message has caught on citywide. “Last week, I heard from someone at a NO MORE event that she’d tried to order blue frosted NO MORE doughnuts. She described what she wanted to the deli, and the deli owner said, ‘I know exactly what you need, and I know exactly why you’re doing it. NO MORE!’ There’s a woman at the deli who’s aware of this campaign? It’s thrilling!” Dearing says.
Students agree. Kiera Walker is a University of Alabama – Birmingham graduate student who works with NO MORE on campus.
“People are taking a responsible stand. No more victim-blaming or excuses. We’re finally coming to a point where we’re holding people accountable for their actions,” she says.