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MSU Students Rally to Help Prevent Sexual Assaults

This coming Thursday, a group of Missouri State University students will “Take Back the Night.” KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann has the story.

On college campuses across the nation, safety is always a primary concern, and MSU is no exception. The question is, how safe do MSU students actually feel.

"My name is Brittany Davis. It's a little creepy at night. I usually make sure I'm walking with a friend, just because my mom has always warned me not to walk alone on campus.

My name is Ferrah Greene. I do feel perfectlysafewalking aroundcampus.

My name is Kristen, and I do feel safe on campus.

My name is Emily Harris. Most of the time I do feel safe on campus"

In response to growing concerns about the general safety of its female population, a group of MSU students is coming together to promote awareness and safety during an event they call “Take Back the Night.” Sarah Howard is spokesperson for VOX; voices for Planned Parenthood at Missouri State, which is one of the sponsors of the event.

"It's going to be kind of a rally. We are going to have music at the Bear Paw. And it's to raise awareness about sexual abuse. We are going to have a person from Safety and Transportation [at Missouri State University] come and talk about things that have been happeningon campus,and safety precautions." Howard said.

The Clery Act, requires most campuses to make public an annual national crime report. The latest information on MSU is from 2008, and shows there were seven forcible sexual offenses. However, Howard says that there have been growing concerns on campus over the past year.

"There's been a couple [incidents] on campus. I'm not sure of the exact number off of the top of my head. But there have been some issues that they have brought to our attention this year. There are [approximately] four people raped each day in the state of Missouri alone. Those are only the ones that are reported. There are many more that are unknown." said Howard.

According to Howard, this Thursday’s event is geared to bring about awareness and to help empower women to feel safe.

"We just really want to make everyone feel comfortable to talk about it. [And] to raise awareness about the fact that we, as women, shouldn't be afraid to walk alone at night. So that's kind of our main thing; to empower women. To empower everyone." Howard said.

Take Back the Night is open to the public and will take place at the Bear Paw on the Missouri State campus. You can find a link to more information below about this event, as well as campus safety services provided by MSU. For KSMU News, I’m Theresa Bettmann.

Click here to learn more about "Take Back the Night'

Click here to learn about MSU safety services