Ottawa SlutWalk hopes to end victim-blaming
Ottawa showed some skin Sunday to proclaim that nobody asks to be sexually assaulted.
Organizers say the inaugural Ottawa SlutWalk was in response to comments made by a Toronto police officer that women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized, remarks which were quickly condemned by police.
"No one asks for sexual assault," said Ottawa organizer Emily Griffiths. "Never, ever is there any justification for unwanted sexual attention or contact by another human being."
Organizers said on the Facebook event the walk brought attention to the fact nobody should be ashamed of their sexuality, as well as addressed how the police, courts and the media deal with sexual violence.
"Women have been getting the same message for years. We hear things like ‘Don't drink too much, don't dress provocatively, be a "good girl" and don't sleep around,'" said Nicole Chatelain, founder of the Women's Independence Network.
"We need to turn this attitude around and place the blame for sexual assault where it belongs: with the perpetrators, not the victims."
The walk started at the women's monument at Minto Park at 1:30 p.m., with the walk to the courthouse at Elgin and Laurier at 2:00 p.m.
It follows the Toronto SlutWalk April 3 which drew thousands of supporters.
There were also rallies scheduled Sunday in London, Ont. and later this year in Vancouver, Edmonton, Boston and New Zealand.