GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — ECU students Take Back the Night on campus Wednesday evening, marching in support of sexual assault survivors. The goal of the march to raise awareness about the issue and let those struggling with the situation know they’re not alone.
“It sends a powerful message to the ECU community that this is something that we notice,” says victim advocate Kathleen Bursky. “We know it’s happening. And we don’t think it’s acceptable.”
Many students, some survivors, decided to march.
“It’s important to me because I myself am a victim of sexual assault on a college campus and I would like to raise awareness so I can prevent it from happening to other girls,” says ECU freshman Olivia Meyerhoffer.
Other survivors say events like this are crucial to show support.
“I hope this shows that there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” says ECU senior Mel Llanos. “For those who have been wronged and those who know of others that have gone through something like this before, that are victims of this, I hope they know they can and are survivors and there is change coming.”
Those struggling with sexual assault are encouraged to seek their own help, whatever that may be.
“These things are going to keep on happening unless more awareness is raised,” says Stand Up for Survivors President Kelly Dahlman. “I know it’s a tough subject and a lot of people don’t want to make it known but report it. Talk to others. Make yourself feel comfortable because the only person that’s going to get hurt is yourself.”
Finding help in any form is one of the main goals participants want to stress from the event.
“Talk about it,” says Meyerhoffer. “Talk about sexual assault. Become aware. Familiarize yourself with resources that you have available. Share that with others that you know are effected. Start talking because that is the beginning of change.”