"Take Back the Night" at Lander University aims to bring awarene - FOX Carolina 21

"Take Back the Night" at Lander University aims to bring awareness to sexual violence

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Hundreds of students at Lander University marched across campus on Monday holding up signs to bring awareness to sexual violence.

In an event they call "Take Back the Night", students shared personal stories of sexual violence while others walked beside them empowering and supporting them every step of the way.

Nadia Seamore, a junior at Lander University, was just one of the many students who told their story tonight as students from Lander University marched to bring awareness to sexual violence.

"When I was 13 I was sexually assaulted by a family friend and then again at 15 and again at 17", Nadia tells us, "Mostly I had talked to friends and in close intimate settings shared my story with those that I trusted but with this event I felt like my story needed to be shared with people I trusted which are my fellow students."

On Monday, for the first time in her life, Nadia stood up to tell her story for all to hear leaving her feeling a mixture of emotions.

"A little bit frightening and relieving and liberating just the fact that I'm not alone in this and that there are others and we stand together as a community", answered Nadia.

For leaders like Jill Franklin, making sure these survivors never feel alone was their main mission.

"It's not something to be ashamed of and I think that this is something that will break the silence that you don't have to be quiet about your experience because we're here to help and support you", Jill explains.

During the march students crossed a bridge showcasing shirts they made that showed support for survivors, some reading "No means no" and "We stand with you". 

Every 107 seconds the bell in the on campus bell tower would ring signifying another victim to sexual violence in the United States.

Jill explains, "I think a lot of people like to think that if you don't talk about it then we can brush it under the rug or that it won't happen to me or my friends or my family, but in reality it's happening to a lot of people we know."

Other students' stories were read aloud during the march and for many passing by they were tough to hear.

Jill says, "I was speechless and it's heartbreaking and you just hate that anyone has to experience this let alone one of our students."

Leaders at the event today wanted to encourage anyone that has been a victim of sexual violence to reach out for help; whether that be to close family or friends or professional help, they want everyone to know its okay to speak out and you're not alone.

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