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Students Speak Out Against Isla Vista Gang Rape

By Victoria Sanchez, KEYT - KCOY - KKFX Anchor/Reporter, victoriasanchez@keyt.com
Published On: Feb 25 2014 09:53:38 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 27 2014 02:00:00 AM CST

UCSB Speak Out Against Rape

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

Students at UC Santa Barbara are fighting back with words after a 19-year-old student was beaten and raped.

Take Back The Night is a campus group of both male and female students working towards sexual violence prevention. Before the rape early Sunday morning, they had already planned to speak out against harassment and assaults. They said their mission now has greater importance.

"It's an epidemic. This is just one part and we aren't going to be silenced," said Tara Atrian, the UCSB Take Back The Night co-chair.

Atrian said the news of the most recent gang rape was not surprising.

"I hear all these stories. I know from my friends, girls who live on my dorm floor, this happens all this time. It was just very big and very violent this time," she said.

Atrian is one of a group of students working to prevent future violence.

On Tuesday, the group gave students the opportunity to speak out.

"Rather than sit around and be angry, I'm going to take my anger and do something with it," said Annie Ferguson, a UCSB student and Take Back The Night member.

Ferguson created stencils used to make T-shirts with messages letting people know sexual assault won't be tolerated.

Other students wrote on cards saying why they want to take back the streets of their campus and neighboring Isla Vista.

"'Because I should not feel scared to walk alone ever. Because I want to feel safe in my community,'" read Atrian.

The news of the rape isn't quieting down and some of the female student said they are afraid after hearing details of the assault.

"A group of people and they were physically assaulting her in multiple ways and it didn't sit right with me and it isn't something that's okay," said Ferguson.

The Take Back The Night group said they won't let this rape go unnoticed.

"Women shouldn't be afraid to walk. We shouldn't need to carry around pepper spray," said Atrian.

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