BGSU students protest against sexual violence

BGSU students protest against sexual violence
Chelsea Halm (Source: WTOL)
Chelsea Halm (Source: WTOL)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Students at Bowling Green State University protested in the rain against sexual violence happening on college campuses Thursday.

Most students at BGSU said they've never participated in a protest before but after being horrified by BGSU student Chelsea Halm's story, they wanted to show support.

On her 18th birthday, Halm wrote on Facebook that she was assaulted by a friend.

BGSU removed him from her dorm, however his friends continued to slide notes under her door.

According to Halm, the University told her there was not enough evidence to support her claims and that she could file a restraining order.

"I feel like I deserve justice along with all of the other girls that I've met that have had their cases swept under the rug," Halm said. "Pretty much they were telling no matter what I did, they didn't have enough evidence to do anything, which at first I understood. You know you can't expel him without giving him a chance, and I understood that because I've had a friend that was falsely accused."

Even after leaders ordered him not to contact her again, Halm says it did not stop.

"He continued threatening me when he saw me in public, making fake accounts to message me and I continued telling the university and they didn't do anything about it," Halm said.

It was that fear that led her to make the social media post, and she felt touched by the response. However, Halm says she is afraid to walk around campus and will not return to BGSU in the fall.

"I can't go out to lunch with friends because I might see him, I can't go on the campus and have coffee with my friends," Halm said.

Halm's post helped other women get the courage to tell their stories and demand change.

"Victims are seen as liars until proven honest, but perpetrators are seen as innocent until proven guilty," said freshman Jennifer Thoman.

Bowling Green released a statement Thursday night saying:

BGSU respects the rights of our students to express their viewpoints. We appreciate any effort that helps raise awareness and educates the community about sexual assault on college campuses.

Bowling Green president Dr. Mary Ellen Mazey also released a statement following the protest.

She said Ohio University revealed the student that allegedly assaulted Halm was suspended from the university for "violating the OU code of student conduct."

Dr. Mazey also reaffirmed her commitment to fight sexual assaults on the BGSU campus.

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