The City of Berkeley has declared Saturday "Sexual Assault Awareness Day" and is hosting an event to respond to an increase in the number of rapes reported on and around the UC campus.
The city will host a series of workshops at the Trinity United Methodist Church to help survivors and prevent sexual assaults.
Organizers told KTVU there has been an increased in reports of rapes. Student complaints have led the state to audit the way UC Berkeley handles rape cases.
"I was really scared, because I thought it was my fault, said 19-year-old Aryle Butler, a junior at UC Berkeley.
Butler said she was sexually assaulted twice by a man with ties to the university. She said she didn't report the incidents to police in part because she was ashamed, but that she did turn to a school official for help.
"In the end, she told me there was nothing the university could do," said Butler.
The student recently testified at a hearing with state law makers in Sacramento to get Cal to do more to protect victims.
"A lot of sexual assaults that occur, they are acquaintance assaults," said senior Ella Bastone. "It's with people you know."
Bastone is a state-licensed rape counselor and the organizer of Saturday's event.
"We can't change it unless everybody gets involved," said Bastone. Berkeley City Council member Kriss
Worthington encouraged students to organize the city sponsored event.
"My personal experience as a victim of rape was when I was a teenager," said Worthington. "We hope to build on this to do a massive educational campaign."
Butler said by speaking out, she hopes to see change.
"Especially with a university like Berkeley, this liberal frontier. It should be the leader," said the student.
Organizers hope that the workshops will be the first in a series of events to prevent sexual violence on and off campus.
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