Eva Ball is a listener and a responder. As the semi-new (she started this school year) sexual violence response services coordinator Ball is an empowered and strong woman that many can look up to.
Her innovation helped bring the Center for Awareness, Response and Education (CARE) to Northwestern’s campus. The mission of CARE as stated on their website is: to provide information, advice, crisis counseling, support, advocacy, referrals and education about sexual violence (including sexual assault, rape, intimate partner violence and stalking) as well as consent, healthy relationships and healthy sexuality to the Northwestern University community.
Ball’s position as a responder is brand new and CARE is one of only a few centers like it on college campuses around the country. She said so far it’s been well received by students. Ball’s responsibilities have ranged greatly. “My primary role is as a confidential resource for students who are victims of relationship violence, stalking and sexual assault. But I’ve also spent a lot of time getting CARE off the ground,” Ball said.
She was also involved with sex week and is going to be the kick off speaker for Northwestern’s Take Back the Night. “Usually Take Back the Night is kind of heavy, with a tradition from the ‘no means no era,’ but I’ve heard that people involved here are invested in a positive message about consent and not the old rhetoric,” Ball said.
Ball said her role as responder has two legs, prevention and response.
Dealing with the prevention aspect Ball emphasized that we all, men and women, have the right to say yes to things we like and no to things we don’t like. “All people, not just women, are taught through different mediums that our bodies aren’t our own, but they are.” She stressed the importance of consent and open conversation with your partner: “It’s when the best sex happens,” she emphatically stated.
When responding to sexual violence Ball said the most important thing for survivors to hear is that it’s not their fault. She said her goal isn’t to drive up report numbers or force survivors to a certain avenue, “my agenda is to give them support in the choice they make because they know best about they need.”
Want a way to help eliminate sexual violence? Check out the Dear Sexual Violence campaign that Her Campus Northwestern is sponsoring with Take Back the Night and write your own letter at: http://dearsexualviolence.tumblr.com/or check out one of the letters that a Take Back the Night committee member wrote for a Her Campus blog: http://www.hercampus.com/school/northwestern/dear-sexual-violence-letter-take-back-night