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Take Back The Night

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(WLNS) - A local lawmaker who says she was sexually assaulted in college stands with dozens of victims and supporters in the fight against sexual violence.

Senator Gretchen Whitmer took part in the annual "Take Back The Night event and tells why she hopes her story educates and empowers others.

"There is nothing to be ashamed about. There are so many women who have been victimized, whether it's on a campus or in a neighborhood, we need to raise our voices and empower other women to do that as well. I had been raped when I was in college. It's not something i ever planned to talk about. I didn't talk about it for 20 years," says Whitmer.

A time she says is too long and a reason why she, and others, say society must change the way it treats victims of sexual assault.

"I think there's a lot of shame and guilt and blame and confusion that still surrounds it, and it's something we need to talk about more," said Rachel Berzack, co-cordinator of the Lansing area "Take Back The Night".

Whitmer adds, "There's no other crime that it's the victim who gets scrutinized, and that's wrong. We've got to change the whole culture, and this is one step toward doing that."

And one step toward replacing the darkness of sexual violence with knowledge and light.

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