Illustration © Nikki McClure

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Slutwalk London 2011


Last year a Toronto policeman told a group of law students that in order to avoid being raped ‘women should avoid dressing like sluts’.

Sadly there are many people who share this attitude. Women are constantly made to feel like they are to blame: told they should not look a certain way, should not go out at night, should not get drunk, should not wear high heels or make up or should not be alone with someone they don’t know. Not only does this divert attention away from the real cause of the crime - the rapist - but it creates a culture where rape is OK, where it’s allowed to happen… after all, she must have been asking for it, right?

NO. Let’s raise our voices and tell the world that rape is never, ever OK.
Not if she was wearing a miniskirt or a veil. Not if she was naked. Not if she was drunk. Not if she was your wife, girlfriend, daughter or friend. Not if she was under 16 or a pensioner. Not if she was a woman of colour, an immigrant or claiming asylum. Not if she was a sex worker or in trouble with the law. Not if she was queer or trans. Not if she had mental or physical disabilities. Not if the victim was male.

We are tired of who we are, our sexuality and our choices being used as an excuse for rape. We want the freedom to love and live as we choose.

The only way to stop rape is to put the blame where it belongs – on the rapist, whether they were a stranger, partner, client, relative, colleague, friend, or someone in authority. This is the duty of the police and courts, but instead of protecting us they are denying survivors of rape justice and allowing rapists to continue. Women searching for justice and safety from their attackers are faced with biased police, Crown Prosecution Service and judges who question what women did to deserve or provoke rape, our sexual or medical history, our occupation, our right to be in the UK… no wonder only 7 out of every 100 reported rapes end in a conviction.

So let’s turn up and take a stand. Everyone is welcome - all genders, races, religions, ages and sexualities. Bring friends, family and banners, and come along feeling beautiful, ready to show the world that we are proud of our sexuality and that there is never any excuse for rape.


United Kingdom
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