Princeton Athletics Shines a Light Against Domestic Violence

Those attending tonight’s women’s basketball game against DePaul University will see a brighter Hodes Plaza outside Jadwin Gymnasium. Student-athletes from Princeton’s men’s and women’s lacrosse, and men’s and women’s soccer teams, along with those from multiple teams representing Princeton Athletics’ SAWL Program (Student-Athlete Wellness Leaders) will come together to light hundreds of candles as a symbol of hope for women and children impacted by domestic violence or sexual assault.

Sponsored by the Princeton Varsity Cluband SHARE,  the event is part ofCommunities of Light, which is held annually throughout Mercer County and the state of New Jersey to raise awareness surrounding domestic violence and sexual assault, and the services available to help victims in Mercer County. This is the tenth year of the event, held countywide by Womanspace.

Last year, over 75 representatives of the athletic department (including student-athletes, head coaches, assistants, and administrators) listened to a presentation given by Alison Daks, a representative of Womanspace, before lighting candles around campus and the Princeton borough. Several surprising statistics were shared by Ms. Daks, including:

  • Approximately one in five college students report violence in their relationship.
  • Around one in four female college students will experience a sexual assault before graduation.
  • Between 70% and 90% of sexual assault survivors know their attacker.
  • One out of every 12 females and one out of every 45 males will have an experience with a stalker in their lifetime.

Participating student-athletes will hear from Susan Adams, Womanspace’s Coordinator for Volunteers and Community Outreach, before heading outside to “light” the battery-operated candles.