Student Group Rallies To Support Rape Victim

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On Thursday evening, a student group at Ohio University called "F*** Rape Culture" marched from Baker Center to College Gate bearing a dorm room mattress. 

The group choose to hold a "mattress march" after hearing of Emma Sulkowitz.  Sulkowitz is a Columbia University senior who was allegedly raped in her dorm room.  Sulkowitz pledged to carry around a mattress until officials at Columbia University could gurantee her an enviroment free from her alleged attacker. 

"We made this event to stand in solidarity with Emma," Jessica Ensily, a member of "F*** Rape Culture" said.  "We wanted to express that rape culture is prevalent not only here, but also where she is and all across the country."

The group chanted as they walked.  "Blame the system! Not the victim!"  Although only a short distance, many bystanders looked on.  

A recently released Ohio University Clery Report shows sexual violence on campus has stayed about the same over the past few years.  There were 9 sexual crimes in both 2012 and 2013.  Ensily finds the numbers problematic and misleading.  

"I cannot count on both hands how many people I know that have been raped or sexually assaulted on this campus," she said.

A student not involved in "F*** Rape Culture", Michaela Miller, said she feels safe on campus as long as she is taking the precaution of walking with a friend at night.  Miller also believes the issue is a social problem.  "I don't think OU is better or worse than any university," Miller said regarding rape culture.  "I think that there are just some people that are careless and just don't care about anyone but themselves."

The issue is grabbing national attention as President Barack Obama launched a campaign last month called "It's On Us."  The campaign focuses on putting an end to sexual assault on college campuses.  

"F*** Rape Culture" plans to walk again on October 10.