WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
Monday night, nearly 300 students marched around Purdue's campus to raise awareness about sexual violence and domestic abuse.
"Take Back the Night" is an international march to raise awareness about sexual violence and gender issues.
Officials said rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse and domestic violence are often labeled "crimes of silence."
But Monday night, Purdue students broke that silence, and marched for a good cause. And even some wore high heels while doing so.
"It raises awareness for a lot of issues we have. If walking around in heels for two hours can do that, then game on, I'll do that," Purdue senior Tony Coiro said.
"What we really wanted to do was break the silence. One in four women are sexually assaulted every 20 minutes in the U.S.," event organizer Jennifer Tuel said.
Keynote speaker, Debbie Norris shared her story at Purdue's "Take Back the Night" event. Norris lost her daughter Heather to domestic abuse in 2007. Norris said by sharing Heather's story and raising domestic violence awareness, she's able to keep Heather's spirit alive.
"I know how much pain I went through when I learned what had happened to Heather. I know how much it hurt when she was going through the relationship that I can't even imagine any other parent, any other friend or any student or anybody feeling what we feel," keynote speaker, Debbie Norris said.
And while the one-mile march around campus wasn't so comfortable for the guys who wore heels, they said it all came down to one thing, to break the silence and raise awareness.
"If I can spend two hours of my life in a little bit of discomfort and pain, and raise awareness for huge issues, then that's fine by me," Coiro said.
Since Heather's death from domestic violence in 2007, Debbie Norris has fought to make a dating violence education law in Indiana.
A bill mandating the Indiana Department of Education work with domestic violence prevention leaders to develop dating violence education programs in the classroom, was signed into law last year.
It's now called Heather's Law, in memory of Heather Norris.
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