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CSCC students unite for rape prevention

A group of Cleveland State Community College students are going the extra mile to raise awareness about sexual assault in their community. (Image: WTVC)

A group of Cleveland State Community College students are going the extra mile to raise awareness about sexual assault in their community, as well as the impact they believe President Donald Trump is actually having on their cause.

All over the CSCC campus you may see teal ribbons placed on trees. That's because there's a group that's come together to help raise advocacy for victims of sexual assault.

"We don't call them victims. We call them survivors," Freshman Dixie Sewell said.

Dozens turned out for Tuesday's event, which featured ways to recognize sexual violence, and how to fight it.

Many who attended wore T-shirts with the logo #Fightingforthe51. The number 51 represents what they believe to be the actual number of sexual assault crimes in Cleveland in 2016.

"One out of three are the only ones that are reported," Freshman Lexie Harris said.

According to the TBI, the Cleveland Police Department reported nine cases of forcible rape, four cases of forcible sodomy, and 18 cases of forcible fondling.

"There might be 51 in Cleveland, but only 17 that they (police) know about," Harris said.

The group is urging more victims of sexual violence to come forward. They're also questioning the man who declared April 2017 as National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month - President Donald Trump.

"I think it's very ironic," Sewell said.

Although never charged, President Trump has been accused by more than one woman of sexual misconduct.

"Personally, I don't believe that he (Trump) cares. I don't think that someone that talks the way that he does, and says the things that he says, could actually care about this issue," Sewell said.

And everyone knows about the now-infamous 2005 hot-mic recording of a conversation he was having with entertainment reporter Billy Bush.

"One of my biggest issues with him is the language he uses and the way that he speaks about victims and women in general," Sophomore Hannah Rose said.

But the simplest thing this group wants done, may also be the toughest.

"Talk about it more. Talk to your friends, your family. I know it's really hard for people to talk about it, but it's something that needs to be done," Harris said.

Tuesday's event also gave students a chance to sign up for RAD - Rape Aggression Defense. It's a class just for women, and it's taught by police officers.

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