April 25, 2011

Why I am marching: Bethany-Mae Phillips

(Trigger warning for discussion of sexual assault.)

It is here, it is happening, and before I start on an unstoppable rant train, here are some places you can get involved:

Slutwalk London Facebook (Please RSVP!)

Slutwalk London Tumblr

In January, a Toronto Policeman told a group of law students, that if women didn’t want to get raped they should “avoid dressing like sluts”.  That guy did not know what he was getting himself in for. That single comment started a raging international protest; not just against moronic comments by men in uniforms, but against a culture that places blame amongst survivors, rather than perpetrators.

Have you ever noticed that if a male is called a ‘slut’ you usually prefix it with the word ‘man’? You can have ‘man-sluts’ or ‘sluts’ – the word slut is inherently feminine. Linguistically, there is no reason for this, it is a social expectation that has been placed on the word. In history, women have been beaten, institutionalised and ridiculed for promiscuous behaviour, it is somehow crude, unsightly, skanky, for a woman to be seen as sexual and we as a society have accepted and encouraged this mentality for too long. I am going to state this only once: However a woman chooses to express her sexuality, be it with many partners, be it only after she is married, be it through her choice of clothing, her application of make-up or her flirtatious behaviour – it is her fucking business and her fucking choice and it gives no-one the right to judge, insult or rape her. EVER. It is as simple as that. And I am sick and fucking tired of hearing about how sluts deserve it, miniskirts are asking for it, and us women should just stop being so damn provocative! Slutwalk proposes that we RECLAIM the word ‘SLUT’ – that yes, we have taken control of our own sexuality, and we dress however we want to, and we will not accept that as an excuse for rape. We have had enough.

But stop right there. I hear you screaming at your screen that you’re bored of hearing my feminazi dyke bullshit, and you don’t know what we’re all complaining about, we got the right to vote, didn’t we?! Can’t we just shut up already?!?! No. And here I would like to dispel a myth; In my opinion (I am by no means speaking for all Slutwalk Supporters or feminists here, this is just me with my silly little blog) – This is not just a feminist issue. This is a human rights issue. Yes, reported rape primarily affects women – but there is rape within the gay community, rape within institutions, and rape within the military is being reported by each and every gender. Men get raped too, so do Trans and Pangendered individuals and everyone else who I am unable to put a label on!  AND I HAVE YET ANOTHER MYTH TO DISPEL! – This isn’t just about rape. This is about sexual violence, and the threat of it, experienced each and every day. This is about catcalls and unwanted attention that make me feel unsafe walking down my own street after 8pm, this is about husbands, partners, boyfriends and strangers who believe that a human body is public property – to be touched and abused and commented on by whomever should wish to do so.  This is about your mother, sister, girlfriend, wife, best friend, daughter; to whom an evening out is a logistic nightmare of rape alarms, covered drinks and pack mentality, just to ensure their own personal safety.  This is about survivors who have been made to feel like they are criminals, unworthy of help and support.

People get raped because of rapists, and a culture which, for all of its feminist ideals, has allowed this to become the norm. I am not, for one moment suggesting that women shouldn’t be looking out for their personal safety, of course you should, it’s sensible, but I find it disgusting and sad that we live in a world in which women HAVE to do so. In a world where, if someone was drunk, rape is acceptable.

Join Slutwalk, tell the world that RAPE IS NEVER ACCEPTABLE, march with us! For yourself, for your family, for your friends – FIGHT BACK AGAINST RAPE CULTURE!

Thank you to Bethany-Mae Phillips.

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Why I am marching: Ooffii Hardwick

(Trigger warning for discussion of sexual assault.)

If an 11 year old girl is gang raped, but was dressed provocatively to look older than her age, is it ok if she is raped? http://nyti.ms/f8F2y9 If a woman becomes intoxicated and two police officers are called to assist her into her apartment, where they then rape her, is it her fault for getting drunk? http://nyti.ms/fBzuMG Recently the New York Times have reported on both of these incidents, and in both cases have succeeded in actively supporting the victim-blaming society we live in. 

In January a Toronto policeman told a group of students to avoid getting raped they should “avoid dressing like sluts.” His outrageous and disgusting remark has started a worldwide protest and action to reclaim the word ‘slut’. 

Two important points need to be made. First of all rape and sexual violence are not gender specific; women, men, girls, boys, trans, homo, straight, bi, old, young, black, white, asian, hispanic - everyone is at risk of rape or sexual violence. (I am aware that I have missed vast numbers of people out in my gratuitous labelling, and it is not something I am normally comfortable doing, however here it serves a purpose). Rape, sexual violence and dating violence happen all around the world, in every walk of life. In America every 2 minutes someone is sexually assaulted. In the UK 83% of male victims of sexual violence knew the perpetrator. In the UK at least 750,000 children witness domestic violence every year, that’s more than 2000 per day. A 2005 World Health Organization study reported that nearly one third of Ethiopian women had been physically forced by a partner to have sex against their will within the 12 months prior to the study. Rapists and sexual attackers do not just prey on those who “dress like sluts.” 

Secondly there is a need to address the word ‘slut’ itself. It is never female-slut or woman-slut - just ‘slut’ will do when referring to a woman, however, it is nearly always male-slut or man-slut, we have to qualify the word when referring to the other half of the population. Linguistically this word epitomises the extent to which negative portrayals of women have become ingrained in our culture. If we wish to highlight the number of sexual partners a man has, and for once this is not happening because he is a ‘player’ or a ‘lad’, we are forced to appropriate a word that for so long now has demonised and judged women for their sexual behaviour. It does not matter what you wear, where you go, who you see, how you approach them, if you talk to them, how you talk to them, if you kiss them, if you touch them, if you sleep with them. It does not matter if there are 25,000 ‘thems’ you have the right to be judged as a person, not as a ‘slut’. You have the right not to be raped, and you certainly have the right not be blamed if anything does happen to you. 

Slutwalk is a space for us to take back and reclaim that word, which for so long has made us judge ourselves and each other based on the double standards that our society has created and maintained. So on June 4th 2011 I will proudly march with my fellow ‘sluts’ - I will dress how I like, I will behave how I like, I will control my sexuality and not have it used as an explanation and excuse for rape. I will stand shoulder to shoulder with all those who believe that RAPE AND RAPE CULTURE IS NEVER ACCEPTABLE!

by Ooffii Hardwick

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April 27, 2011

Kelly: Why we need to march

(Trigger warning for discussion of sexual assault.)

In June 2011 a Slutwalk will be held in London. The point of the Slutwalk is to raise awareness of how rape is still very much seen as the fault of the victim. Victim blaming and slut shaming have to end.  I, along with some friends and a bunch of other incredible women will be in attandance to show that regardless of how we dress we are not asking to be victims of any form of sexual assault or harassment. Because, believe it or not, not one of us is dressing for anyone other than ourselves.

So, In order to get this Ker-azy rant of the ground I’ m going to start with something we all hear way to often and oh how it makes my blood boil.

“Look how she was dressed, she as asking for it.”

*deep breath*

Lets start at the beginning, deconstruct this a little.

“Look how she was dressed.”

How was she dressed? Was she popping to the corner shop in her pyjamas? Was she on her way home from work in her bright red power suit? Was she on her way to the gym in her tracksuit? Our survey says EH-EH, because stereotypically none of these women seem to be asking for anything. They are all perfectly respectable ladies, just going about their lives, without fearing for their safety because why should they? Oh wait I see what you meant, that woman you were talking about, she wasn’t wearing a tracksuit. She was on a night out, she was wearing that super short dress that left nothing to the imagination. SLUT! I get it now. If you dress slutty, show a bit of cleavage, a little bit of leg, bad things will happen and it’ll be all your fault. Don’t act like you weren’t warned.

Apparently nothing bad ever happens to the respectable ladies in power suits. Right? Wrong. Rape can affect anyone, regardless of their outfit, their location, their levels of sobriety.

On to part two – Now I’m not a brain scientist but I’m pretty sure, that regardless of her outfit, she, or he, (men get raped too, although their outfit is rarely brought in to question) was not asking for. Who in the name of fuckery asks to be raped? Honestly? Who? Anyone? Right. Ok, so we are agreeing that no one has ever asked to be raped in the history of forever? And that it follows that what someone is wearing is not actually some kind of coded ‘rape me’ signal? Thought not, lets move on.

Next and I feel some what importantly, can we also agree that rape is not a new thing? Rape, amazingly, existed before body-con dresses, hot pants and WKD. Rape is actually mentioned in the Old Testament, that’s the bit of The Bible that dates from 13th century BCE. That my friends, is a long fucking time ago. Way, way, way before this wonderful culture of victim blaming and slut shaming was introduced.

Rapist, you see, tend to be opportunists, and rape, more often than not, is about exerting power over someone not about sex. How you are dressed is very, very, very unlikely to affect whether or not you are raped because rapist don’t care what you’re wearing. It is for this very reason that slut shaming and victim blaming need to be stopped, victims of rape need to understand that it was not their fault, they do not deserve it, they were not asking. for it.

Rape is a case of ‘wrong place, wrong time’ not ‘night out, revealing dress’.


I hope that all made sense, it sort of fell out of me in a mad jumble.

Thank you to Kelly - who made perfect sense.

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April 29, 2011

Why I am marching: Elle Rebecca

(Trigger warning for discussion of sexual assault.)

On 24th January 2011, a Toronto policeman told a group of law students that in order to avoid being raped ‘women should avoid dressing like sluts’.

The cold hard truth is that rape happens and although you can’t stop the rapists you may be able to stop the victims and survivors being victimised yet again.

Our aim (well certainly I know my aim) is to change the view that women can ask to be raped because of the way they dress even if it is just one person who changes their mind.

Contrary to popular belief woman who get raped aren’t always dressed revealingly, they have been raped in sweatpants, jeans, t-shirts and yes even miniskirts. Women have been raped popping to the shop in their pyjamas, going for a jog in the park in their sports gear, lying around their house in a tracksuit. Women get raped regardless of what they are wearing, where they are or what they have been drinking. So why is it not the fault of a woman returning from work in her suit if she is raped but it is if a girl is returning from a club in her little black dress?

Oh wait I know, she must have wanted it. Everyone knows that don’t they? that when you buy that short skirt from Topshop you want to be raped? that the right to be safe in your own body is taken from you? common knowledge of course! I will just stick to my sweatpants in future, no one has ever been raped wearing those…..

The sad truth is rape isn’t a new fad guys, it isn’t the latest trend, it has always been around, long before mini-skirts, cosmos and clubs. And although rape isn’t solely confined to women, male rape victims aren’t usually told because you could see his nipples through his shirt he must have been asking for it. This march isn’t to stop rape it is to stop this stupid idea that clothes cause the crime. The idea that the victim (and that is what they are, victims) should blamed for something they did not plan, ask for or have control over.  Sorry Mr.Rapist sir, I didn’t realise my top was actually code for ‘rape me’ please do continue, sorry for the misunderstanding.

In reality many cases of rape are when the attacker wants to feel powerful and dominant not because they particularly found the woman sexually attractive, line up all the victims of rape I am sure you would find they aren’t all scantily dressed and devastatingly good-looking. 

Ask yourself.. If one man rapes 3 women opportunistically and 2 are wearing conservative clothes and one is wearing a low cut top, are all three to blame equally for getting raped or just the one with the cleavage? What if the woman with the cleavage hadn’t have been in the wrong place at the wrong time? and it was another conservatively dressed woman? what then….Why should a womans style choice have any measure on where the blame will fall when it wasn’t the deciding factor in victim choice anyway!

Telling a victim of rape that they deserved it because they looked sexual is like telling a burn victim it is their fault because they looked flammable. 

This ‘you deserved it because you are a slut’, ‘she was asking for it’ attitude needs to stop. Rape is rape is rape is rape, whether it is on the way home from a night out, in the middle of the day, by a boyfriend or a friend or a stranger, if the woman is a virgin or a prostitute. And It’s not just rape I am talking about, it is sexual violence too!

Too many times have victims in court been asked what they were wearing on the night of the alleged crime, how much they were drinking. No woman can ask to be raped, because in the end if a woman wants it, it isn’t rape is it? 

Ruth Hall, from the support group Women Against Rape, criticised “prejudices” in the court system.

“They still put the woman on trial, including her sexual history with other men, which is supposed to be banned and blame the woman for what happened to her and hold her accountable,” she said.

Did you know on average only 6% of reported rape charges get convictions. While on average only 15% of rapes get reported. Women need to know that if they report their rape they will be treated with dignity, care and respect, even if she was drunk, even if it was someone she knew.


A public poll asked if women should be held partly responsible if they are attacked in public while wearing revealing clothing and a total of

21% of women and 18% of men said YES

Where a woman was walking alone at night

12% of women and 8% of men said the victims were responsible 

More than a third of people said female rape victims who were drunk were atleast partially responsible and 11% believed they were fully responsible for the attack.

That means there is a large percentage of people out there who DO NOT blame the rapist

What I want to know is how much has the victim have to have drunk to be responsible. One drink? two? or do they have to have drunk so much they have passed out so because they were not able to say no, then is it perfectly alright to abuse her body? Bearing in mind a lot of victims of rape are women who were spiked while drinking. Are they to be held responsible because they happened to be drinking at the time? 

10% said the woman were completely responsible and 33% said partially responsible if the woman had flirted with the man beforehand. Which I find the most disgusting of all. Are women never meant to flirt or talk to men now just incase they turn out to be a rapist? Or does that mean if a woman flirts with someone then they must be open to anything. And what does flirting include, if a man buys you a drink do you deserve to be raped? If you swap numbers, is that now the secret code which allows you to rape a girl? someone please explain this to me, because I just don’t understand.

Not only do these attitudes unfairly victimise women who have already been through enough, they also victimise men. These attitudes say that all men are rapists, when they are not. They say the only thing that stops decent law abiding loving men from being rapists are women who dress conservatively. That everyman you know, your father, your uncle, your brother, your boyfriend, even if he thinks rape is disgusting, is a rapist at heart. That they are all pathetic beings with no control and dominance issues. It tars all men with the same brush. Men do you really want this view to be painted of you? that if you see a girl in a short skirt you are going to go ahead and rape her or would you rather the truth, that it isn’t clothes that cause the rape. IT IS THE INDIVIDUAL PERPETRATOR! 

Rape happens to all Genders, colours and ages. And no one is to blame for what has been done to them so stop excusing the criminals and their crime!

So women if you think these attitudes are disgusting or have been a victim of rape and discrimination and men if you don’t like this view that all men are rapists and feel that no one deserves to be treated this way, join the march.






4th June 13.00-16.00 Trafalgar Square.

More information is available at 



HELP ORGANISE - if you can give a little more time, please consider being part of the organising team. They will be sorting out logistics - loudspeakers, soundsystems, the route of the march - as well as running the twitter page and continuing to speak to organisations and the media. If you’d like to be involved contact [email protected].

Thank you to Elle Rebecca, who will be on the march.

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May 2, 2011

Rosa: why I will march

(Trigger warning for discussion of sexual harassment.)

I will be marching on the 4th of June because no matter what I wear, it is possible that I can be a victim. I have worn a short skirt, along with an anorak and a bobble hat, and I’ve still been honked at and harassed by a TFL London Bus Driver. I have worn a loose, knee length dress, and still had a man crawl into bed with me, in a room full of others, and molest me.

I have also felt the effects of victim shaming; after the aforementioned molesting, I felt it was my fault. I shouldn’t have had that much alcohol, I should have refused that toke, I should have found the strength (despite my under-the-influence-situation) to tell him to leave me alone. It took me a long time to realise it wasn’t me. It was him.

I will be marching on the 4th June wearing whatever I like. I can wear ‘hotpants’ and a low-cut top. Do I feel like a ‘slut’? No. I feel like me. I feel comfortable. I can wear the baggiest, body covering clothes. Do I feel frumpy? No. I feel like me. It is not what I wear: it is being a woman.

Whatever I wear, however I act, as a woman, there is always the possibility that I will be deemed a ‘slut’. There seems little choice to me, than to be proud of this. Therefore you will see me on 4th June, marching in the streets of London, with my head held high. Slut 4 life.

Thank you to Rosa.

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May 5, 2011

Vicky Simister: Why I will march

(Trigger warning for discussion of sexual harassment.)

On June 4 2011, Slutwalk London will hit the streets. Women, dressed in whatever way they wish, which may include their most revealing clothing, will protest against a culture of victim blaming. “Society teaches ‘Don’t get raped’ rather than ‘don’t rape’” – is the slogan on the Facebook event page.

The first Slutwalk happened in Toronto on April 3 2011, on the back of a comment made in January by a Toronto policeman who told a group of law students that in order to avoid being raped “women should avoid dressing like sluts.”
Victim blaming is awidespread problem. In March, the New York Times reported on the gang rape of an 11-year-old girl by 18 young men in Texas. The paper also chose to report that neighbours had said: “She dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s. She would hang out with teenage boys at a playground.” Slutwalk Dallas took place on April 23 2011.

An even more extreme example of victim-blaming and slut-shaming (the practise of conferring the shame to the victim rather than the perpetrator) can be found in the case of Pakistani resident Mukhtaran Mai. Mukhtaran’s 13-year old brother was accused of having sex with a woman from a neighbouring clan. As punishment, the elders of the neighbouring clan decreed that she was to be raped, under ‘eye-for-an-eye justice’. Mukhtaran was forced at gunpoint into a stable, where a group of clan members raped her. She was then paraded naked around the village. According to tradition,Mukhtaran should have then committed suicide, as the shame fell on her, but she chose to publicly fight this practice instead.

The UK also has a poor record when it comes to handling rape, with the lowest rape conviction rate in Europe, at just 6.5%. In February, Conservative MSP Bill Aitkin was quoted in The Herald, responding to a recent rape of a Glaswegian woman, saying: “The police say there’s a lot of drunken carry-ons that result in rape allegations which are subsequently dropped, put it that way. I think there might be fear, if they are worried that somebody talks … and the word gets back to the boyfriend.” Mr Aitkin also suggested that the victim may have been “a hooker” – implying that this somehow made her more to blame for the rape.
Meanwhile, Transport for London posters on the Underground implore women to “Please, please stop taking unlicensed minicabs”. The message is accompanied by the image of a terrified, crying woman’s face in the back of a car. By her positioning, we are presumably to think she is being raped – this is seemingly confirmed by the accompanying speech bubble pleading “Please, please, no, please, no”. There are no TFL posters aimed at rapists, or condemning the act of rape.

We live in a society that ranges from publicly shaming the victim of an honour-rape to insinuating that a rape victim may have somehow ‘led her attacker on’ through her clothing or demeanour.

Slutwalk’s response to this attitude is clear: “NO. Let’s raise our voices and tell the world that rape is never, ever OK. Not if she was wearing a miniskirt. Not if she was naked. Not if she was your wife, girlfriend or friend. Not if she was a prostitute. Not if she was drunk. Not if you thought she wanted to.”

No means no. Rape, by definition, means non-consensual sex. Rape is NEVER the victim’s fault. It’s about time society faced the facts.

Vicky Simister is Director of Anti Street Harassment UK and The Green Tax People, and Treasurer for UK Feminista.

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May 10, 2011

Why I Will Be Marching

(Trigger warning for discussion of sexual assault.)


Why I Will Be Marching

One day last year I got a call from my best friend, studying abroad in Australia for a year. She was so distraught she couldn’t talk, could hardly breathe. Eventually she could speak enough to get the story out. She’d woken up in a strange hotel, with torn clothes, bruises and no memories past 8 pm. All she could remember was being out with some friends; at one bar she had started talking to the man who she was later seen on CCTV with. She had no memory of leaving with him. She didn’t know how she’d been so drunk as to forget everything. Nothing added up.

It seemed clear to her what had happened, and she reported the man immediately. The police, however, didn’t want to know.

They told her that without his word saying that yes, he had assaulted her, they couldn’t take it any further: it was his word against hers, and she had clearly been blackout drunk. Even if that was out of character for her. Even if it was highly probable she’d been drugged.

After a few weeks of being told this she started to believe it; that it was all her fault, that she had been asking for it.

I am marching because I want to tell the world that drinking does not mean you are asking for it. The way our dominant culture characterizes and discusses rape is clearly warped: how is it that we would think it okay to take the possible perpetrator’s word over that of the victim in such a case - to such an extent that they refuse even to investigate it?

This was not the first time my friend had been sexually assaulted. I can only hope it is the last.

At least six of my very close friends have been raped or sexually abused. My friends are strong, and wonderful, and they will survive. They are also fighting for recognition and a redefinition of what sexual assault and rape mean, and where the blame lies; but that doesn’t make what happened to them any less horrible and life-altering.

I am marching because I love my friends.

I am marching because short skirts and low tops are not open invitations.

I am marching because no means no: regardless of what you are wearing, regardless of where you are, or whether you’ve had a drink or a toke or a hit. No means no whether its your friend, your boyfriend, your husband, or a hook-up at a party.

I am marching because I believe we have the right to have sex as we please, to dress as we like and to enjoy our sexualities; but we also have the right to say STOP and to be obeyed.

I am marching with the hope that by raising our voices we can effect some change in the system that lays the blame at the victims feet in a way that sanctions, rather than discourages, rape.

I am marching because society needs to start realizing the real scale of rape and sexual abuse and addressing it head on by not only teaching Don’t Get Raped but also teaching DON’T RAPE.

I am marching because my best friend still thinks that her rape was her fault, because the authorities never looked into it, and because it will always haunt her.

And that is not okay.

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Via Why I Will March

Emily Jacob: Why I am Marching

(trigger warning for discussion of sexual assault)

SlutWalk isn’t a feminist issue. Rape isn’t a feminist issue. Rape is everyone’s issue. SlutWalk is about highlighting that it is never the fault of the victim and only ever the fault of the rapist.

Rape doesn’t define who I am. But it does constitute a big part of who I have become. It has changed the way I view the world and almost everything about me; it has changed my family relationships, it has deeply impacted the relationships with my friends, it affects the way I handle stress at work. It’s changed how I trust (now I distrust). I move house like it’s a hobby, in search of somewhere to feel safe. I’ve overcome depression but it’s a constant cloud hanging over me. I worry about when the next panic attack will creep up on me, whether tonight I will sleep, whether tonight he’ll come back, whether I will wake in fear. Rape is part of my life, every day.

I am walking because I was raped. But that is not the only reason I am walking. I am walking because two thirds of people who answered a survey would say I am to blame for my rape. I was drinking. Perhaps I was drugged, I will never know. I am incredibly angry when I read that 64% of people say I should take responsibility for my rape. The only person to blame is the man who raped me.

Society teaches those two thirds of people that it was my fault. Society teaches people that if you take precautions you’ll stay safe; society lets women kid themselves that ‘it won’t happen to me’. Rapists are the bogey-man; they aren’t the internet date, the colleague, the boyfriend, the husband. Victims stay silent because talking about rape makes people uncomfortable; it’s taboo. And victims stay silent because when they do talk about it, even ‘friends’ might say ‘well, if you didn’t report it straight away you couldn’t have been raped’ (no longer a friend).

But rape is happening all the time. It’s happening every day. On average, there are 326 rapes EVERY DAY in this country. Of these, only 2,021 result in convictions, a 2% conviction rate. Women have a 1 in 24 risk of being raped in their adult life. (For men it is 1 in 200).

(A note on the figures. The Stern Report claims a 58% conviction rate, which is based on the number of people prosecuted for rape. But the Stern Report also acknowledges that as few as 11% of rapes are even reported; using figures from within the Stern Report the facts are that if you report a rape, there is a 15% conviction rate, but that of all rapes, 98% of rapists walk away. The Stern Report calls these discrepancies in reporting the statistics, the ‘attrition’ rate. The Stern Report also recommends that the reporting of statistics should be reviewed).

I am walking because I was raped, and because I am angry. I am angry with what my life has become. I am so angry with the lack of justice, the hundreds and thousands of rapists who walk away. I am angry with media which perpetuates the urban myth that men might be in constant risk of being accused of rape and the idea that it is men who need protecting from vengeful women: when it comes to an accusation of rape, the accuser is the presumed liar.

I am angry because the survivors of rape are victimised again and again. If we report it (I did) we are forced to re-live it in horrendous detail several times over. Our hopes are raised that perhaps a successful prosecution might provide closure (because at the time we think closure is possible). And we feel violated again when the CPS decides not to prosecute after all and he simply walks away. We are victimised when we stay silent and tell our work colleagues that we’ve got the flu, or a migraine, and that’s why we’re not at work – not that last night he came back in our nightmares and the idea of leaving the house is too overwhelming. We are victimised when the doctor tells us that if we’ve done our therapy, we shouldn’t still be suffering. We are victimised when we are called victims.

We are not victims. We were victims, for a moment in time. Now, we are survivors. The one positive thing I can take from the experience is that I have survived, I have had the strength to survive and I am a survivor. And that is why I am walking.

Thank you to Emily Jacob.

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May 24, 2011

B: Why I Will Be Marching

(Trigger warning for discussion of sexual assault)

Because I was sexually assaulted. Two years ago I was walking home from school (wearing a thick coat over my baggy clothes might I add) and someone came up from behind me and groped me. He started talking to me telling me how he thought I was beautiful and had to talk to me. He then grabbed one of my breasts and kept telling me I was beautiful. He ran off after I had lied and told him I had a boyfriend. This was the first time I had been touched in this way, all I had done before was kiss a boy.

It completely warped my idea of the world, and of men, and I asked myself so many questions. Afterwards I couldn’t walk down my own road, where it had happened. I reported it to the police several months later, which resulted in nothing, after having panic attacks and seeing Victim Support who helped me realise that I was the one in control of my body, not anyone else.

What shocked me was that a while later I started a debate in a psychology class while we were discussing free will. I posed a similar hypothetical situation and the side for free will simply answered that the girl in question must have been dressed in a suggestive way. My teacher then seemed to agree with them.

That is why I want to march and why I want to wear the clothes I wore when I was assaulted to see if it is at all provocative to wear a baggy t-shirt with a skirt and tights, and thick coat over it.

Thank you to B. If you need to talk to Victim Support, or would like to donate or volunteer, find them here.

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Nee: Why I’ll be marching

(Trigger warning for discussion of sexual assault)

I’ll be marching because when I was walking home from the library I was approached by a boy my age. I was wearing my school uniform and it was not flattering or revealing in anyway.
He offered to walk me home and I accepted. We ended up walking past my house and living in a remote farm town we heading into the grapevines for a walk. We kissed, but I didn’t want to kiss anymore and said no and asked him to stop. He didn’t take no for an answer and kept kissing me then forced himself onto me and held me and started to finger me. My resistance and pleas were unheard and I was helpless.
He finally stopped and I walked home alone.
In the evening there was blood on my knickers and I decided to call a friend to tell her what happened. Her mum told my mum and I had the police around that evening and the next day interviewing me.
The police caught up with the boy but couldn’t get a matching story so they said there was nothing they could do and it just sounded like a misunderstanding and that I had changed my mind afterwards accusing him.
I didn’t consent to what happened to me.
When I went back to school my friend told everyone who told everyone and I had the share of I deserved it comments and I asked for it comments.
Even in later years my mum used it against me in a fight telling me I deserved to be treated that way.
I’m walking because NO means NO.

Leave Note / Reblog
why i am marching