UT Tyler students rally against rape; aim to shatter sexual viol - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

UT Tyler students rally against rape; aim to shatter sexual violence

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Tyler, TX (KYTX) -- Whether it be a friend or from personal experience, it's a problem that touches many lives.

"It is much more prevalent than people think," Britney Hilbun, a counselor at the East Texas Crisis Center, said.

Students, community members, and campus leaders met on the UT Tyler campus Thursday to talk about the unspoken--rape.

"I have a lot of friends who have been sexually assaulted, and I think it's a big issue," Julia Runge, a UT Tyler student, said.

Runge said a few years ago at a party, she was almost a statistic.

"I couldn't move and I remember screaming 'No,please stop!' And he wouldn't, and I couldn't fight him off, he was too big," Runge said.

She says someone heard her pleas and pulled her attacker off her before anything happened.

Runge and others say they're upset because they think society tends to focus on victims, instead of the person who committed the crime. And part of that change, should start young.

"We teach our girls you're responsible for gate keeping your precious virginity. That's a very bad message to send," Samantha Dwight, a Health Education Specialist at UT Tyler, said.

And Dwight said expectations for men, just as bad. "You're saying men, they just go after it, they are animals. What a rude thing to say about men," Dwight said.

Rape victims can get resources at the East Texas Crisis Center for free.

The emergency hotline number is 903-595-5591.

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