Augustana students and the community raise awareness for sexual assault

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ROCK ISLAND, Illinois (KWQC) -- Students, faculty, and community members gathered together tonight to raise awareness about sexual assault. They walked from Augustana's campus to the Quad City Botanical Center and said it was also about bringing survivors' voices into the light.

This comes after Margaret Gros, a senior at Augustana College, reported a sexual assault she said happened off campus. She said tonight was about creating a platform for survivors like herself.

"You know maybe they're scared to talk. It is so hard to talk about this. So, let's give them something, you know a very positive, a very safe space and that's what we're trying to create," she said.

Gros said she cannot change what happened to her, but can hopefully help others.

"And, you know, as for my story, what happened, happened and there's no magic wand to, you know, make it disappear. But what I can do is make sure that someone else doesn't have the same problem and that they feel heard and that they feel supported and they feel loved," she said.

Gros said tonight was not a protest. She said it was about coming together as a community and realizing that every survivor has a voice.

Jaime McLean, a senior at Augustana College, said national discussions surrounding sexual assault have helped others share their stories.

"So now seeing a lot of people, a lot of very very brave people, coming out and talking about their experiences and getting that support makes it much easier for survivors to be like, okay this has happened to me too," she said.

McLean said many are pushing for a campus-wide change and several students also are also pushing for a survivor advocate program on Augustana's campus.