Fuck Rape Culture marches to bring awareness

Fuck Rape Culture member Claire Chadwick addresses a crowd of protesters gathered at College Green on Friday afternoon. Photo courtesy of Evan Chwalek.

 

On Friday, people from all walks of life gathered to rally in the second annual Fuck Rape Culture March.

The march welcomed every race, age, gender and sexual orientation. The event brought in a diverse crowd and all in attendance listened intently as Bobcats stood and spoke on the topic. Speakers shared stories of their assaults, campus cat calling and the united hope to eradicate rape culture.

The march promptly began at 4:15 p.m at the bottom of Jeff Hill. Then marchers cut across Stewart St. and proceeded up Mill St. Activists then continued on to Court St. while halting traffic and turning heads. After walking through the campus gate, marchers finished on College Green.

On Mill St., in response to the Fuck Rape Culture chants, a male student screamed from his house, “Buy her a drink and get no sex?!”

Protesters briefly clash with bar patrons in uptown Athens. Photo courtesy of Evan Chwalek.

Chants such as “2, 4, 6, 8, stop the violence, stop the rape!” rang through the streets in protest. On Court St., the chant, “Fuck rape culture!,” was immediately countered with, “Please shut the fuck up!”

Protesters immediately reacted to the ill-mannered comments shouted at them.

Activists took the comments in stride and continued with confidence onto College Green where final remarks were given by several students.

Claire Chadwick, co-founder of FRC, spoke at the conclusion of the event. She said that the group started nearly a year ago in response to a crime alert sent out by OUPD.

“The language they used was extremely problematic, and it was then that we realized that we not only had an opportunity, but a responsibility to change the rape culture that runs rampant at Ohio University,” Chadwick said.

At their first march last year, the group asserted three demands:
1. Amnesty for students who were drinking underage at the time of their assault.
2. All student workers receive sexual harassment training.
3. All incoming students receive consent and sexual assault training.

In one short year, all the above demands were met.

This year students marched for three new demands:
1. OU fully fund the Ohio University Survivor Advocacy Program (OUSAP), whose funding runs out next year.
2. All students take the “Not Anymore” online consent education course. This would include transfer students and all class ranks.
3. Athens Police Department and Ohio University Police Department “beef up” survivor response training.

Ohio University Student Senate has stated their official support for Fuck Rape Culture and the indicated demands.

Jessica Ensley and Hannah Ticoras marked their bodies for each person sexually assaulted in America over the course of a day. Photo courtesy of Evan Chwalek.

Madison Koenig, a senior studying English and FRC member, expressed enthusiasm that the organization had connected with the police earlier this week.

Koenig defined rape culture as “a culture where sexual violence is pervasive, frequent and normalized.”

Activists Hannah Ticoras and Jessica Ensley, who participated in the march, pulled out a marker every two minutes and added a tally to their bodies. At the end of 24 hours, they will have a total of 720 tallies on their skin.

Ticoras and Ensley did this in accordance with the fact that in the US, a person is sexually assaulted every two minutes.

The two also marched Saturday morning in the Homecoming parade.

Katie Conlon, a junior studying history and FRC member, carried the weight of a mattress as she marched that read, “Fuck Rape Culture.” In solidarity with Columbia University sexual assault survivor, Emma Sulkowicz, Conlon and others carried the dorm mattress through the march.

Sulkowicz introduced the mattress as a demonstration and form of protest in which she will carry her dorm mattress everywhere with her until her rapist no longer attends the same school. The protest is meant to demonstrate the heavy burden survivors bear when they are forced to carry the weight of their assault with them every single day.

The march concluded nearly an hour after it began. The organization demanded the attention of OU students and alumni as they marched the streets of Athens. As remarks were given on College Green, not one passerby looked forward; all had their heads turned in wonder.

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