On Tuesday, March 6, the St. Mary’s College of Maryland Sexual Misconduct Advocacy and Resource Team (SMART) held a workshop for the Monument Quilt. The Monument Quilt, according to Sexual Assault Advocate and SMART Supervisor Kelly Muldoon, was an opportunity for survivors of sexual assault and their allies to share their stories and their support through making quilt squares.
“I just wanted to bring something new and healing to the campus,” stated Muldoon, who is in her second year working at the College.
Approximately 15 students, faculty and staff members gathered in Aldom Lounge across the afternoon to make quilt squares for the event.
The Monument Quilt was founded in Baltimore in 2013 as a way to create “a public healing space by and for survivors of rape and abuse,” according to the organization’s website. The quilt squares, which have been made by individuals at workshops across the continent, will be gathered and displayed across the National Mall in 2019.
“The fact that it’s becoming more public tells me that people are, are taking this more seriously, and it’s about time,” stated Muldoon; “I think that making it public creates a space where it’s safer calling someone one out.”
The Monument Quilt project holds a lot of similarities with the 1980s AIDS Memorial Quilt, which was comprised of quilt squares that bore the names of AIDS victims and was displayed on the National Mall in October 1987. By the time it was displayed, the AIDS epidemic had been six years in the making. Former President Ronald Reagan, who had been reluctant to publicly speak about a disease linked to homosexuality, had just made his first public comment about AIDS a few months earlier, near the end of his second term, when the disease had already killed more than 20,000 individuals in the U.S. and had been diagnosed in another 36,000.
The U.S. gains 321,500 victims of rape and sexual assault over the age of 12 every year, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. The Monument Quilt, thus far, has 6,000 quilt squares to display, according to its website.
To learn more about the Monument Quilt, visit its website themonumentquilt.org.