Protestors march in downtown Bowling Green against rape culture

Chelsey Mather (front), Cassie Goodwin (middle), Lilia Hawkins (left end), and several other women marches downtown Bowling Green to educate people on rape culture has impacted not only WKU but countless of colleges across the US.

Joseph Thompson

The Cancel Rape Culture Coalition marched in effort to dismantle rape culture on Wednesday in downtown Bowling Green.

Women from Warren and Barren County marched from Circus Park to the Warren County Courthouse. Some of the women were survivors of sexual assault and rape. Cassie Goodwin, co-founder of the Cancel Rape Culture Coalition said she started the group to dismantle all the ideas that contribute to rape culture.

“I think people should seek education about what rape culture is so we can prevent rape from happening and so people know what signs to look for,” Goodwin said. “We need to hold people accountable for their actions because we haven’t seen accountability in society.”

Chelsey Mather, president and co-founder of the Cancel Rape Culture Coalition said she wanted to have this event for all the victims and survivors that are not ready to come forward themselves. Mather and the coalition want survivors of sexual assault to know there are people out there advocating for them.

“This event is important to me personally because I am a survivor of rape, and I would like all survivors and victims to know they are not alone,” Mather said.

According to the Association of American Universities (AAU) Campus Climate Survey taken in 2015, 23.1% of all undergraduate women experienced completed or attempted sexual assault.

“Rape and sexual assault is obviously bigger than Bowling Green, but I think for Bowling Green specifically, a lot of sex crimes go unaccounted for,” Lilia Hawkins, communications operator for the coalition, said. “I think we can do a better job at holding the aggressors accountable, and I think by providing education and training, it would help prevent further sexual assaults from happening.”

Hawkins said she feels empowered now they have hosted the event.

“For the longest time, I felt like I was scared to talk about sexual abuse and sexual violence,” Hawkins said. “I guess coming together with a whole group of women is just empowering and knowing you are not alone.”

The goal of the Cancel Rape Culture Coalition is to spread awareness that rape is a problem. Goodwin said they want to educate others on how to protect themselves and deal with the aftermath.

“I think our voices need to be heard, rather than spoken over time and time again,” Goodwin said.

Joseph Thompson can be reached at [email protected]