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'Silence is not consent' rally held

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MARQUETTE -- It's a movement that began in May, after a court case in which someone used the defense...'silence is consent'.

Jill Simms and Hannah Syrjälä, work for the Marquette County Prosecutor's Office and grew tired of hearing the excuses for sexual assault.

Jill Simms, Co-Founder, We are the Marquette Movement, reads some real defenses heard in the Marquette County court, "She just had morning after regret...she was flirting with me...she wasn't wearing a bra...you laugh but that was a defense."

Simms and Syrjälä created t-shirts saying 'silence is not consent' followed by '#causearuckus' shirts, with all proceeds going to the Women's Center.

The movement grew and tonight a rally was held on the Marquette Courthouse steps.

Matt Wiese, Marquette County Prosecuting Attorney, tells Local 3, "We felt it was an injustice and we heard words that we thought were not words that should be said in a sexual assault case, especially in 2018."

Hannah Syrjälä, Co-Founder, We are the Marquette Movement, explains, "This isn't just a women's issue, it isn't just a men's issue, and unfortunately it's not just an adult issue."

Wiese tells the crowd, "If you were sexually assaulted last night, last week, last month, last year, five years ago, and you're in a spot where you can come forward and talk about it, we want you to come forward and talk about it. And I guarantee you that you're gonna be not only heard but you're gonna be listened to."

If you would like a t-shirt, they are available at the Women's Center at 1310 South Front Street in Marquette.

Follow 'We are the Marquette Movement' on Facebook by searching the name.

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