SlutWalk Vancouver: The Groundswell Around the World Speaks to the Relevance
Battered Women’s Support Services will be at SlutWalk Vancouver in FULL force this Sunday, May 15th in downtown Vancouver, and we will be speaking at the beginning of the Walk at Vancouver Art Gallery.
We have seen how deeply our society believes that women are responsible for having been sexually assaulted, rendering invisible the actions of the rapist. Victim blaming questions such as “What was she wearing?” “Was she walking alone in the dark?” “Was she partying?” “Was she drinking?” are routine.
When a Toronto Police Service member suggested women can avoid sexual assault by not dressing like a "slut" in that moment a catalyst that ignited an international movement for change:
SlutWalk London Pictures from SlutWalk Toronto SlutWalk Boston SlutWalk Ottawa SlutWalk Calgary SlutWalk in Australia SlutWalk Seattle SlutWalk Chicago SlutWalk Yellowknife SlutWalk in Wikipedia
Particular concerns have been raised about SlutWalk and what it means to attempt to reclaim the word “slut” and questions asked if these events are good for feminism. Even with criticism, the groundswell around the world speaks to the relevance as women and men are speaking out about victim blaming and shaming.
During Prevention of Violence Against Women Week this past April 18 – 25, 2011 we said this about victim blaming: Urban Women’s Anti-Violence Strategy 2011 and here are our comments about SlutWalk Vancouver in the Georgia Straight
This is about a paradigm shift
On May 15, 2011, Join Battered Women’s Support Services at SlutWalk Vancouver, take a stand against victim blaming and shaming and urge men to own their role in ending violence against girls and women
About SlutWalk Vancouver
SlutWalk Vancouver is happening on May 15th in downtown Vancouver!
Join us at 1:00 pm at the Vancouver Art Gallery for speakers and festivities before we march on the Granville strip! Visit the Facebook event page to RSVP
SlutWalk Vancouver is coordinated by a group of committed organizers, and working groups.
Inspired by, and acting in solidarity with SlutWalk Toronto, SWV shares their vision (adapted from SWToronto:
SlutWalk is not about hate, and we do not use hateful language.
SlutWalk addresses the culture that excuses away all sexual assault, not solely rape.
SlutWalk recognizes that sexual assault is not something solely done by men to women.
All people, regardless of gender, have a role in challenging victim blaming and sex shaming that create a culture that justifies acts of sexual violence. This event is not just about the violence, but the excuses that allow violence to continue.
Women are most often the targets and men are most often the perpetrators, but all genders are affected. SlutWalk recognizes all gender expressions as those that have been and can be negatively impacted. All genders can be sluts or allies.
Some communities/people are at a higher risk of sexual assault than others based on their status, work, ability, access, race, identity, and a variety of other factors. We aim to recognize this and come together, in all our diversity, as people who are all affected and unite as sluts and allies.
We recognize that sex workers face extensive historical and current victim blaming and slut-shaming due to their work. SWV stands in solidarity with sex workers.
SlutWalk is an impassioned and peaceful stance that aims to engage others in dialogue.
Thanks to TO for starting this off. Now it is Vancouver’s job to start this conversation on the West Coast!
All are welcome to join in on the walk! Please RSVP to this event so we can gauge the size of the Walk. Stay tuned for further details on the Walk as they develop.
And help spread the word. We look forward to seeing you all.
Here is a related PSA by men for men about rape
yeah, there is no such thing as dressing up for sexual assault.