'Take Back the Night' Event Thursday at University of Nevada - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

'Take Back the Night' Event Thursday at University of Nevada

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The University of Nevada student group, VOX, Voices for Planned Parenthood, hosted a 'Take Back the Night' event Thursday to give members of the community the chance to discuss sexual violence.

The purpose for 'Take Back the Night' was the assertion that human beings have the right to be free from violence, the right to be heard, and the right to walk in their community free from fear of sexual violence.

The event gave people a chance to have their voices be heard. One of the biggest things they wanted to drive home is that there is no shame in talking about it.

When the microphone was open to the crowd, many lined up to talk about their experiences, and everyone listened.

"To speak out and either cry, or sing, or do any sort of healing process," said Jacqueline Cope, President of the VOX UNR chapter. "Know that they're in a safe space, so they are protected."

Out of respect for their privacy, we were asked to not record video during the open mic session, but the crowd showed their total support with each gripping story.

"These people up here, they're doing something courageous," said Dylan Merrick, a University of Nevada student. "It's even more courageous than I can even imagine."

According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, one in six men and one in five women have been sexually assaulted. The Justice Department estimates fewer than 5% of completed and attempted rapes of college women are reported to law enforcement officials.

This cause was especially important for Alison Gaulden, an advisor for VOX. She told the crowd that she is a sexual assault survivor.

"I came to tell my story to be a mentor for young women who think, 'oh my God, how can I continue?'" Gaulden told Channel 2 News. "Well, they can see somebody who has survived and is not defined by it."

There was also a candlelight vigil and a march around campus to raise awareness about the issue.
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