The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday February 25th

Protest highlighted survivors' voices

<p>Demonstrators march from the Peace and Justice Plaza on Franklin Street on Friday evening.</p>
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Demonstrators march from the Peace and Justice Plaza on Franklin Street on Friday evening.

Shouts of “justice delayed is justice denied” and “students safety before reputation” were heard down Franklin Street as students and community members gathered for a Standing with Survivors Rally at the Peace and Justice Plaza Friday evening.

UNC Siren, a student-produced publication, hosted the event in reaction to sophomore Delaney Robinson’s recent allegations that the University mishandled her sexual assault case.

Campus organizations such as CHispA, the Campus Y, the Sexuality and Gender Alliance and Feminist Students United attended the rally and gave statements in support of sexual violence survivors.

"Some groups have claimed that the Carolina community does not stand for sexual assault, implying that Delaney Robinson’s case is unique and unfortunate — but the way that our University is currently designed, our systems have failed and they are complicit in the pervasive sexual assault that occurs on this campus,” Campus Y co-president Regan Buchanan said in a statement.

The rally opened up for survivors of sexual assault to speak out about their experiences. Survivors and attendees who did not want to take part in the speak-out were given the opportunity to go to the Campus Y as a safe place to decompress.

Jillian Murray, a former UNC student, said she was raped two years ago and has still not seen any progress with her case from the University.

“Delaney’s case is not unique,” she said. “UNC’s business is protecting their own reputation and that’s something that I don’t stand for — not only for myself but for the other survivors of sexual assault that are on this campus and feel silenced and feel marginalized.”

Murray said she is fighting for the University to make their proceedings more sound and more legally compliant because of her experiences the past two years.

“The whole reporting process — that’s been years in the making at this point — it was more traumatic than my actual assault and that’s an experience that I know is not unique to me,” she said.

After the speak-out, protestors marched through campus to the Department of Public Safety chanting, “Title IX, the right is mine” and “the whole damn system is guilty as hell.”

Senior Griffin Unger said he participated in the rally because he felt like UNC administration has not done all they can do to prevent sexual violence.

"I think the administration, the Title IX office and the Department of Public Safety are kidding themselves if they think that they’re doing all they can to prevent sexual violence on campus,” Unger said. “They owe students justice, they owe survivors justice and so we’re marching asking for more.”

Christine Kelly, a rally attendee, said she had a personal connection to the case. Her daughter dances with Delaney Robinson, so she came with a group of dance moms to support the cause.

"We love her  and we are so proud of her strength and we can’t believe she has had to go through this,” she said. “She needs more support.”

Kelly said she wants to see UNC take more steps to ensure safety for everyone.

“The school needs to take care of all students.”

university@dailytarheel.com



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