ETSU student group hosts 'Take Back the Night'

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - In recent weeks we've reported on number of domestic violence crimes, yet still many of the voices of those who are affected by relational abuse are never heard.

The focus of Take Back the Night on East Tennessee State University's campus was to raise awareness about issues surrounding sexual violence in hopes of putting an end to a crime that affects one American every two minutes.

"At the beginning, it started as an outcry to specific violence against women at night, because we know there is an idea that women really can feel safe walking alone at night," said Kate Emmerich, senior counselor at ETSU.

Kate Emmerich hopes events like this can clear up the misconceptions surrounding abuse.

"Sometimes the victims don't realize that what's happening to them is sexual assault and rape. Sometimes the perpetrators don't even realize what they've done is perpetrated sexual assault or rape," said Emmerich.

ETSU graduate student Anna Reddick says her own experience with relational abuse inspired her to become a counselor.

"I think a lot of times as women you go through these experiences and we live in a world where we are told that we deserved it or that this kind of thing is inevitable," said Anna Reddick, ETSU graduate student.

That perception is changing students wrote messages of healing and hope on these shirts.

"I wrote it's the man's job to protect here never to hurt her. It's your job to make sure she is your princess, make her your queen," said Nathan Roark, student.

Tuesday's event was hosted by O.A.S.I.S.

Thursday evening April 3rd ETSU students will host "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Cave Patio.

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