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ECU students participate in annual Take Back the Night event

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GREENVILLE, Pitt County - East Carolina University students are participating in several events for Pledge Purple Week. One of them brings awareness to sexual violence.

Bethany Capps is a senior at ECU and said her voice was stolen from her twice. The first time was when she was 14 and dealing with an abusive boyfriend and the the other was when she was sexually assaulted at an ECU tailgate event.

"I began to seek my voice again since I felt it was stolen from me," Capps said. "From that, that I had a lot of recovery that had to happen."

Included in that recovery process is the annual Take Back the Night Walk around campus. During the event, Capps took the opportunity to open up about her personal experience with sexual violence.

"I felt very empowered," Capps said. "I felt that my voice and story represented and I felt a sense of unity. It told me that there are supports and there are people that love you and want to see the best for you."

Capps said she decided to be vocal about the issue and has not only helped herself but others dealing with the same problem. She said that influenced her to help bring the "It's On Us" campaign to the university.

"It's been around for three years and it's a national organization that looks to end sexual assault on college campuses," Capps said.

"It's On Us" has made its way to several colleges, universities and high schools in North Carolina. The group focused on helping students but Capps said they will help those from the public that reach out by guiding them to the right local resources.

The week continues Wednesday with guest speaker Jay Asher, the author of "13 Reasons Why," speaking Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Hendrix Theatre.

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