SlutWalk returns to London and raises its voice

Tagged as: gender repression slutwalk social_struggles solidarity
Neighbourhoods: westimister

On Saturday hundreds of activists took part in SlutWalk London 2012 to demonstrate against victim-blaming in cases of rape. The protest is part of the global SlutWalk movement and also involves the campaign groups Women Against Rape and Global Womens Strike among others.

The global SlutWalk campaign was formed following the international outcry after a police officer in Toronto, Canada addressing students in January 2011 said that in order to avoid being raped "women should avoid dressing like sluts".

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The group put out a statement saying: “SlutWalk wants justice for the thousands of rape survivors who were told by the police and courts that they were dressed too provocatively, they didn’t scream loudly enough, they were too drunk or too young or too mentally ill to understand what had happened to them, they must have consented because the rapist was their (ex)husband or (ex)boyfriend, they were sex workers and should be prosecuted rather than their attackers, they were asylum seekers and should be sent back to the detention centre or deported.”

“By marching again this year, we are letting the authorities know that we will not go away until they take rape seriously by thoroughly investigating and prosecuting, so that more rapists are convicted, men generally are discouraged from sexual violence, and women get the safety and justice we deserve. We all have a right to live free from the fear of rape.

“We demand a change in police and prosecution priorities, so more rapists are convicted and we get the safety and justice we deserve. We want the freedom to live without fear of rape.”

We are delighted to be joining women, girls and our supporters of all ages and backgrounds at SlutWalk in London, part of global protests against rape and victim-blaming. As we prepare to join, we we’re circulating a response to Black Women’s Blueprint, the US group that discouraged Black women’s participation, though women of colour on every continent joined or organise marches.

Women of colour involved in Global Women's Strike stated: 

"This Saturday 22 September we aim to bring out our experience fighting rape by landlords, police, partners, soldiers, immigration officials, security guards, clients, employers, boyfriends. We think that thousands of women publicly identifying as “sluts” is a piece of power against rapists and other attackers who use the excuse of what we wear and how we look to dismiss violence against us. We hope to see you there!"

- Women of Colour @ Global Women Strike UK and US

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From their website:

Why I am marching

I’m marching because my body is MINE and I can wear what ever I chose to.  

I’m marching for all those girls in abusive relationships that never leave and never call it rape and never report it.

I’m marching because my father hasn’t spoken to me in over two years because I’m a “slut” and “sex slave.”

I’m marching for all those ignorant men out there who blame women for men’s vile actions. We blame ourselves anyway. We judge ourselves and chastise ourselves and hurt ourselves.   

I’m marching for the deputy head at my CATHOLIC SCHOOL that told me “don’t start things you can’t finish.” Reassuring words to tell a traumatised teenager. What hurts more is that I know she has experienced the same thing. 

I’m marching for them not removing him from my classes and moving me instead to lower sets, even though I’m more intelligent than him, further instilling the idea in other’s minds that I’m at fault, I’m to blame and I’m a liar.

I’m marching for all those women whose cases are swept under the carpet by people in positions of power, people who are supposed to help us. 

Every day I am angry. Even in my dreams I am livid.

He took all my power away.

He took away my peace of mind.

He took away the control I felt I had over my body.

I will wake up every day and I will live and I will survive this because it has not and will not kill me. I was a victim once but that doesn’t mean that’s my label forever. I am not a slut and I am not a victim. I am a human being who was hurt and is hurting and I’m doing my damn best to heal.

I have never been able to write this down and even though it has caused a lot of tears writing it, I’m glad that Slut Walk has given me a reason to.

No one should have the power to silence us.

 

Links:

Link_go Slut Means Speak Up

Link_go Facebook page

Link_go GLobal Women's Strike

Link_go No More Page Three

A related campaign

Additions

Anarchos vs The Cops

When my friend was raped in the street in daylight, she had no anarchist support service to turn to who would actually do something about helping her deal with her ordeal nor actually find the fucker who attacked her. In lieu of this service being offered by the wonderful and purist anarchist types, she phone the cops who not only were extra sensitive to her, they also caught the guy. He went to prison and in that time he didn't rape anyone on the streets.

Prison society is shit but what the fuck can people who are raped do here and now? Anarchists like you have no answers to these everyday nightmares. Your only answer is shouty slogans that make you feel good at least.

@harold

yeah dude, and if you cut someone's hands off they won't be able to steal!

but seriously... not sure what "anarchist support service" you're talking about but you seem to be saying that because some people failed to deal with a problem we need the state (with its fairly corrupt and extremly inert+impersonal mechanisms) to deal with stuff. it's a fairly common fallacy (basic misunderstanding/manipulation of logic) which i'm sure you can find somewhere here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies

g'night

support, links and trigger warnings

People can have discussions about whether it is a good idea to go to the police or state for support in a situation forever... but this doesn't matter in the aftermath of an incident of sexual violence - what does matter is that the individual(s) affected do whatever they need to do in order to start healing themselves (which for some may mean going to the police and for others may be staying as far away from them as possible.) Do not tell anyone what they should and should not be doing in such a situation. They have just had their power to decide what they want taken away from them.

For people reading this who are dealing with their own experiences or trying to support others, here's some links to some relevant resources;

Support zine: http://www.phillyspissed.net/node/18

Philly's Pissed have links to a whole bunch of resources here: http://www.phillyspissed.net/taxonomy/term/3

a world without sexual assualt zine: zinelibrary.info/files/world+without+paper+2.pdf

Would also be good if people writing articles involving intimate/partner/sexual violence included a trigger warning for people at the beginning explaining that the article will be dealing with such things and links to supportive resources/groups. For an example the world without sexual assault zine linked to above has a trigger warning at the top of their first page.