Activists against sexual violence march to Take Back the Night

They may have been 100 deep. 

Women, men, residents and students marched across the University of Michigan for Take Back the Night  2015.

Take Back the Night is an international event and non-profit organization to end sexual violence.

"To be here and be able to speak up about this issue is so important," said Nina Dascenzo. "Because it's the first step to stopping it."

"People think 'This doesn't affect me, it doesn't affect the people I know,'" said Leah Kaplan. "But really it's not that it doesn't affect the people that they know, it's the people they know that have been affected are too. They're afraid of what's going to happen if they come out."

According to Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, one in five women and one in 33 men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime.

College-aged women are four times more likely to be assaulted.

Former Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer was the night's keynote speaker.

"My assault took place when I was a freshman at Michigan State," she said. "It took place in a fraternity house and yes, I knew my attacker."

She too was a rape victim, but now identifies herself as a rape survivor. 

FOX 2: "You talked about how we live in a rape culture what needs to happen what needs to be done to change that?"

"There are some good things happening," she said. "(Wayne County) prosecutor Kym Worthy is asking for more money to process rape kits. But the fact of the matter is, she hasn't gotten all the funds she needs, and that's one thing that would go along way."

Whitmer says more women in public office is another.

But men also play a key role. More than a dozen signed a pledge to stand up for women and against rape.

"If men can stand together and push back against that sort of violence means a lot," said Joshua Stoolman. "It's not just a women's issue. There are also male victims that need support.

"It's never just one person's issue it's a whole community's issue."
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