By Karynn Brown
Oct. 5, 2017
The Bay will host Rock for Respect on Friday, featuring four local bands performing a benefit concert for Voices of Hope.
The event is co-organized by many UNL affiliated organizations., including The UNL Women’s Center, UNL PREVENT, Sigma Psi Zeta-Xi, PanHellenic Society and UNL STOMP (Students Together Opening Minority Possibility). These organizations all have similar goals of supporting intersectionality, diversity, and feminism which has led them to come together to support Voices of Hope. The Lincoln-based organization provides free counseling, support, and resources for victims of abuse.
A benefit concert for Voices of Hope, the concert is free admission with a suggested donation at the door. Donations will be raised via a raffle for prizes donated by local businesses. The concert is set to include three Lincoln bands and one from Ashland. Each is rooted in grunge, emo, and punk rock sounds: The Way Out, Ivisi, Histrionic and Better Friend. Both Ivisi and Histrionic will be returning to The Bay’s stage Saturday night for Queerfest.
The Way Out and Histrionic both played stages at Lincoln Calling this past weekend, and Better Friend released an album in August entitled, “Just Turn Green.” The presence of these bands, each with their own following, promises to bring excited crowds to the event, which can only mean good things for Voices of Hope and the UNL advocacy agencies.
The involvement of such local and prevalent bands shows themselves as leaders in the fight against sexual assault, which encourages a supportive community to grow from events such as these. Supporting organizations such as Voices of Hope and PREVENT shows the musical community that these bands and their audience are taking a stand against violence. These notions become even more important as the country reels at violence that can occur at music festivals, which are meant to be safe and powerful spaces.
Rock for Respect falls at a time when conversations about safety and inclusivity in the musical community have been becoming more important and commonplace. The Bay recently hosted Do-It-Ourselves Fest, which featured a panel of female musicians, one of which was Aramara, the lead singer and bassist of Histrionic. The panel collectively emphasized the need for the musical community to be a safe space for all, which includes holding everyone accountable to instances of abuse.
Events such as this Voices of Hope benefit concert aim to create a safe, positive and inclusive musical community. A similar event, Rock Against Rape Culture, took place in February at The Commons and included a Voices of Hope educator to speak out against sexual violence and prevention. That event featured local bands Bien Fang, Once a Pawn, The Morbs and Boner Killerz.
In addition to being part of Lincoln’s greater First Friday art and music events, Rock for Resepect marks the beginning of the Week Without Violence. Celebrated annually, the week of events, talks and activism is supported by UNL PREVENT and the Women’s Center. The Week Without Violence activities will extend through Oct. 13. Other events this week include a candlelight vigil and balloon release, a Voices of Hope open house, canvassing for the Friendship Home, and talks about anti-trans violence, laws surrounding sexual assault and with UNL OASIS.
UNL PREVENT and the UNL Women’s Center are two organizations located in the city campus Union that work together to focus on women’s issues, and specifically ending rape on campus.
PREVENT is known for holding vigils and protests yearly, including the End Rape On Campus protest last spring, and the annual Lincoln Slut Walk.
The Women’s Center works to provide a resource library, meeting spaces, and activities to increase education and participation about gender-based issues.
Both the Women’s Center and Voices of Hope have dedicated resources for male victims of abuse and are open to making their spaces inclusive for all genders. PREVENT’s goals focus mainly on teaching bystander intervention. This campaign for increased intervention is known at “Use Your Voice” and encourage people to speak up to authority, victims, or those threatening to commit sexual assault.
UNL STOMP, Student Together Opening Minority Possibilities, is self-described on their Facebook page as, “a group of young women interested in promoting diversity and cultural awareness on campus.”
Sigma Psi Zeta is the only Asian-oriented greek community on campus. They also do work to ensure that everyone is enjoying campus in a safe and healthy way.
Voice of Hope is an organization that started in 1989 and aims to support victims of all kinds of abuse. They most focus on immediate and long-term counseling for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and harassment. Voices of Hope offers a 24-hour crisis hotline, staffed by some mental health professionals and well-trained volunteers. They also offer confidential counseling and resources for abuse victims in 24-hour response services, and walk-in appointments. They work with anyone from children to teens, families and adults.
Karynn Brown is an editorial intern with KZUM