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3rd December 2014

“Blame the system, not the victim!”

The Women’s Campaign in Manchester marched against sexual violence in soladarity with protester Emma Sulkowicz, the University of Colombia student whose rapist was not expelled

Students from Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Manchester have gathered together to protest against sexual violence towards women.

A march was held to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, a day aimed at highlighting violence against women around the world.

Students marched through both campuses on Tuesday at around 2pm.

The march was also organised in solidarity with Emma Sulkowicz, a University of Colombia student who was raped in her university bedroom during her second year.

In protest to the university’s decision not to expel her rapist after a hearing in which three other victims came forward against her rapist, Sulkowicz began a performance art piece in which she carries her dorm mattress with her wherever she goes.

Sulkowicz will continue her performance art piece until her rapist is expelled.

Her case has led to a media storm in the United States surrounding the sexual harassment and violence on university campuses and in wider society.

78 universities in the United States, including Harvard, are now under investigation for mishandling cases of rape and other cases of sexual violence on their campuses.

Last week The Mancunion reported that Greater Manchester Police have launched a new anti-rape campaign aimed at students. This came after a reported spike in the number of rape cases reported in Fallowfield in comparison to last year.

On average one in every three women will be raped or suffer some form of sexual or physical violence in her lifetime and every nine minutes a woman is raped in the UK.

Zoology student Georgina Lake, one of the protesters, said in regards to the problem of sexual violence, “many don’t realise how many women it affects on a daily basis.”

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