Event at ECU takes a stand against sexual assault

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - A march across East Carolina University Wednesday is aiming to Take Back the Night. While this is ECU's second year of participating, the Take Back the Night event and organization is part of an international mission to end sexual assault that started back in the 1970's.

"About 1 in 4 college women will be victimized while they are in college," says Kathleen Bursky, a victim advocate. "That is in addition to 1 in 4 women will be victimized before they reach 18."

Dozens of candles were lit to honor the of men and women who have survived sexual assault and a prayer was said for those who haven't found their voice.

Participants read a letter from the victim in the recent Stanford University rape case, acknowledging her strength and courage.

"I'm not personally a victim of sexual assault, but I know people who are and it is a really big issue," says student Emma Kauffman.

ECU officials say there are confidential resources on campus that allow victims of sexual assault to receive assistance, with or without reporting the incident.

More than anything, they say it is a nonjudgmental environment to help survivors move forward.

Bursky says most sexual assaults occur within the red zone, which is between move-in day and Thanksgiving break on college campuses.

East Carolina University provides 24/7 crisis intervention and emergency assistance for victims of sexual assault.

Last year, more than 1,200 people signed the pledge banner showing their support to end sexual assault.