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SlutWalk fights victim-blaming

1300 people joined in with the march last year, with more expected this May.
1300 people joined in with the march last year, with more expected this May. Owain Jones

QUEENSLAND organisers of this year's SlutWalk are keen to surpass last year's success, when they take to the streets on May 19 as part of a worldwide campaign against slut-shaming and victim-blaming in sexual assault.

In the inaugural walk last May, 1300 Queenslanders joined an international campaign against sexual assault and rape culture conceived in response to a Toronto police officer's comments advising that women should 'avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized'.

The protest has since spread across the world, and will be held again in Brisbane on May 19, 1pm, at King George Square, followed by an afterparty at Spring Hill Hotel at 5pm.

Anne Watson, Coordinator of the Queensland Branch of the Australian Sex Party and co-organiser of SlutWalk Brisbane, said, "The idea that some women are 'asking for it' by virtue of what they're wearing is absurd."  

"Suggesting that dress or behaviour makes someone in any way responsible for their assault is a myth. 

"It is this mentality that prevents many women from coming forward after being sexually assaulted, and it condones the behaviour of sexual predators."

Fellow SlutWalk Brisbane co-organiser Tiara Shafiq, added: "Ending slut-shaming and victim-blaming is a continual effort. It's not just about the big incidents, like rape, but also about the everyday - such as using "slut" as an insult, making judgements based on people' attire or behaviour, or claiming that any survivor of assault was 'asking for it'."

Brisbane-based radio host and women's rights advocate Rachelle White has thrown her support behind the event.

"SlutWalk is an important event which highlights a very big myth: that people can protect themselves against rape by dressing modestly and being 'less slutty'. This is simply not true," she said.

"SlutWalk allows people of all identities to come together and share their experiences with slut shaming and sexual assault.

"We've organised an after party to let those marching celebrate the event and come together to support those who have been affected by rape myths."

Local artists and performers are invited to come and express their feelings about SlutWalk, slut-shaming, and victim-blaming. To express your interest, visit the SlutWalk Brisbane Facebook page.

Contacts:
Tiara Shafiq: 0416 861 025: tiara.shafiq@gmail.com
Anne Watson: 0410 263 583: awatson@sexparty.org.au

See SlutWalk Brisbane on Facebook: facebook.com/swbne2012

Topics:  rape sexual assault



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