For Survivors, Made by Survivors

Nicole Littlefield, Features Editor

Reading Time: 2 minutes

When Angela Rose was 17 she was kidnapped while she was walking to her car in the parking lot of Woodfield mall. Rose created PAVE as a student organization in 2001 at UW-Madison and the organization continued to grow into an international nonprofit. PAVE’s mission statement is, “PAVE empowers students, parents, and civic leaders to end sexual violence with prevention education promoting respect for oneself and each other. Additionally, PAVE creates a safe space for survivors to thrive after trauma.”

At the beginning of the month, PAVE hosted Runway to Pave which was a fashion show fundraiser in Naperville. PAVE (Promoting Awareness Victim Empowerment) is an international nonprofit that works to prevent sexual violence. 

Rachel Mackinnon, the outreach director for PAVE, said, “PAVE works both to prevent sexual violence through prevention education and works to support survivors through survivor support, holistic healing summits and traditional talking. We have a community or a network of survivors, so we all can come to support each other.” 

Mackinnon said, “We are for survivors, made by survivors. All of us in the organization are survivors and we also support survivors. That community aspect is what PAVE provides that other organizations currently don’t.”

Rose is going back to her roots and is continuing to spread awareness about sexual assault in Naperville and now at Lake Park High School. From March 23 to the 27, Shattering the Silence week will be hosted at Lake Park High School.

“We’ll have a Consent Is campaign,” said Mackinnon. “Students write what consent means to them on a gender-neutral wristband. It literally just says on the wristband “consent is” and then it gives you a blank space to write something. They write what consent means to them and it brings awareness to the fact that consent is mandatory and to get people talking about it as well.”

Students will also attend assemblies where they will learn about sexual assault and prevention methods. PAVE is also having the students create Love Care Heal packages that will be given to survivors. Having the students be directly involved in the process of helping and supporting survivors. The packages include resources along with holistic healing items. 

Along with helping the students and encouraging them to shatter their silences, PAVE is encouraging Lake Park staff members to take the courses available at PAVE University. The university is online at paveuniversity.thinkific.com and has three courses available: consent, bystander intervention and survivors support and are free to the public. 

Mackinnon said, “When you start talking about sexual violence and consent, things come up. When you start talking about it, and you start shattering the silence, other people start shattering their silences, which is really powerful to see, but also we want to be prepared, and we want the staff to be prepared.” 

Lake Park High School and PAVE are hoping to provide a place where students feel safe but also want to inform the students about the issue of sexual assault. By talking about the issue, helping others through the experience, and informing others we can all shatter the silence around sexual assault. 

For more information about PAVE visit shatteringthesilence.org