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Take Back the Night rally aims to raise awareness

Posted October 28, 2008

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— The most common violent crime on college campuses is rape. To raise awareness of the crime, hundreds of people gathered in the cold Tuesday evening for North Carolina State University's 21st annual "Take Back the Night" rally.

According to N.C. State Women's Center, one in four women will become a victim of rape or attempted rape before they graduate college.

For some people attending the rally – held behind Talley Student Center – the staggering statistic has personal meaning.

"It started out wonderfully,” abuse survivor Kelly Cosper said.

Cosper says her relationship with a college boyfriend did not stay that way. He became emotionally and physically abusive, she says.

"That quickly turned to sexual abuse,” Cosper said.

Earlier this month – in a separate case – Roderic Anthony Smith, 32, was charged with rape after police say he assaulted an 18-year old woman walking along Hillsborough Street.

N.C. State's Women's Center estimates more than 40-percent of rape victims tell no one what happened to them. That is what Kiesha Webb wants to change.

Webb says she was abused at the age of six.

"They were powerless in that situation, and that now they have the power to do something about it,” Webb said she wants abuse victims to realize.

Cosper is also doing something about it. For the first time, she shared her story with strangers and accepted that what happened to her was not her fault.

"I have never felt more at peace with myself than I do right now,” she said.

The lesson on campus from the rally: If you find yourself in an abusive relationship, get help now.

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  • jdman Oct 29, 2008

    WRAL,... I KNOW YOU WOULD SENSOR ME IF I SAID WHAT I REALLY FEEL ABOUT RAPISTS, SO I JUST SAY THIS ANY RAPIST WHO IS CAUGHT SHOULD DO MINIMUM 50 YEARS AND HAVE A SPECIAL MEDICAL PROCEDURE.....HOW ABOUT THAT!!!!!

  • BUCKEYEnNC Oct 29, 2008

    This is not a womens issue. This is a human issue! As a father to a daughter, husband to a wife and son to a mother, I cannot understand why men would abuse women!

  • Steve Crisp Oct 29, 2008

    See that statistic in the story?

    "According to N.C. State Women's Center, one in four women will become a victim of rape or attempted rape before they graduate college."

    It's a complete lie. It's only purpose is to elicit fear in the hearts of parents and legislators in order to increase funding.

    The Big Lie began back in the 70s when NOW needed a statistic to bolster fund raising. They literally made it up, except that back then it was one in four women were raped during their lifetimes. It then morphed into one in four before college graduation, and some colleges are actually claiming that it is one in four during a woman's college career.

    The actual figure is somewhere between 25 and 60 per year per 100,000 which gives a statistical rate of up to 4,200 per 100,000 during a lifetime. That's about a 4 percent chance of a woman being raped during her lifetime.

    That's a far cry from 25 percent (or more.)

    Remember, it's about the money, not the truth.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Oct 29, 2008

    These crimes are horrendous. But having a "Take Back the Night" rally or march isn't going to change anything. You could march every day from now on. In 50 years, it will still be dangerous for a woman to walk in the dark at night. Always has been, always will be. Use common sense. It works a whole lot better than a march.

  • anneonymousone Oct 29, 2008

    My congratulations to those women and men who take a stand against violence that hides behind what looks like sexuality, and to those survivors whose speaking out reminds us that it is the perpetrators who must feel shame, not those who are hurt.