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May 18, 2014 | by  | in Homepage News |
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TRIGGER WARNING: This content deals with an account of sexual assault and may be triggering to some people.

A march is being organised to protest recent sexual assaults on campus.

The event, titled “Let Me Go Home”, is being organised by VUWSA, the Women’s Group and Youth for UN Women. The march will begin at the Hub at 4.45 pm on Tuesday 20 May, and lead to the Aro Valley Community Centre via the Boyd-Wilson pathway for a forum at 5.30 pm.

The forum will include speakers representing students and the wider community, and will also involve a workshop where students will get to voice their concerns on safety around different suburbs in Wellington.

The march also intends to allow those in attendance to point out areas on the Victoria campus in need of “infrastructural improvement” to better ensure student safety.

“As students and Wellington residents, we want to show that we are a community that does not accept sexual assault as a given and that we will foster a community that rejects rape culture,” the Facebook page for the event explains.

“It’s unacceptable that we are unable to perform such a simple task as walking home from our work or study without fear.”

Local MPs, councillors and University faculty will also be attending the event to participate in discussion and respond to student questions.

VUWSA President Sonya Clark said the march was an opportunity for the community to “come together and show that we reject rape culture and are prepared to foster an environment in which all residents, students, and particularly women are safe. It’s unacceptable that we are unable to walk home without fear.”

“The only full solution is in a broad cultural shift, but while this environment exists there are infrastructural improvements that can be made to empower students and make them feel safe.”

Students have noted their concerns about using the path many times, with Salient reporting on the path as far back as 2010. Three attacks occurred over the Easter break alone, prompting a return to a discussion on improving security around campus.

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