Preview: Breaking the Silence

Robinson hosts their annual “Break the Silence” boys basketball game


Photo M. McClintock

At the ninth point, fans break the silence to raise awareness against domestic violence. Every nine seconds, a woman in the U.S. is assaulted or violated.

Ella Wertz and Jules Whitaker

Every nine seconds, a woman in the US will be the victim of domestic violence. Six years ago, some students at Robinson High School began a movement called Break the Silence to end domestic violence.

Break the Silence is an annual home Robinson basketball game that moves to help spread awareness and fight against domestic violence. The concept of the game is that the entire crowd stays silent until the 9th point is scored by Robinson boys basketball team. The crowd stays silent for the 1st nine points because every 9 seconds a woman in the US is domestically abused.

The game will take place on Jan 17th at 8 pm against Spoto High School. Students should wear purple to represent the movement towards ending domestic violence.

“I think it’s a great event for our school to see all of the students come together for this great cause. It’s exciting for our players to play in this game because it’s usually a big crowd and it’s an exciting event,” boys basketball coach Steven Smith said.

This year’s Break the Silence is led by Senior girls basketball captain Emily Kemp, with Katie Kemp (’21), Sadé Wallace (’21), Yovanni Cardona (’21) and Sydney Stout (’21) helping coordinate the event.

To get more student involvement, the first 50 students who come to the games will get a free “Break the Silence” shirt. In order to get a shirt, students must be in the designated student section during halftime of the girls basketball game, where they will be handing out tickets that can be exchanged for a shirt in the lobby at the start of the fourth quarter.

” I am really proud that we have been able to continue such a successful event for the last six years. This year especially, it was awesome to have a lot of the clubs at the school—SGA, Knightmare and Junior Civitan—support Break the Silence. It really feels like a whole school effort,” Emily Kemp (’20) said.

The event was started to raise awareness around domestic violence and partners with a local organization, the Spring of Tampa Bay, a center that helps victims of domestic violence.

Other student-led clubs and organizations at Robinson have shared their support by fundraising, spreading the word and helping set up the event.

“It’s an important game to the team because we know that the game stands for and we want to help by raising awareness,” small forward Will Swanson (’21) said.

Many students need to hear this message because it is important and relevant in many people’s life.

“Break the Silence is important to me because it advocates for victims of a problem that unfortunately affects a lot of people in our society. Break the Silence helps raise awareness and provides community resources and support services to victims, survivors and families affected by domestic violence,” Brianna Tran (’20)—a member of Knightmare, SGA and Junior Civitan—said. ” I personally know of people who have suffered from domestic abuse and its effects on their families and it is heart-rending, so being able to help and raise awareness is meaningful to me.”

The girls basketball game is at 6:30 pm followed by the boys basketball game and Break the Silence at 8 pm. One ticket will permit a one time entry to both games. Tickets are available at the entrance to Robinson’s gym for $4.