We went out to Downing Street in our underwear today!
Why were we there?
Only 7 out of every 100 reported rapists are convicted. The other 93 go free.
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.
As women we know that the justice system will not protect us from sexual and domestic violence. When rape is reported, police often: dismiss or downgrade the complaint, lose or fail to collect evidence, refuse to interview witnesses or make arrests, and blame the victim (usually a woman or girl) rather than the rapist. Some victims are discriminated against because they are women of colour. Some victims are even accused of lying, prosecuted and imprisoned while their attackers go free.
It does terrible things to people when they don’t get justice. Without justice there is no protection for you, your friends or family – whoever got away with it and others like him will expect to get away with it again. There is no confirmation that what happened to you was wrong and wasn’t your fault, no closure. You are left with an open wound. And you are more vulnerable to being raped again as police are more likely to disbelieve you if you have reported attacks in the past.
Police, lawyers and judges need to realise that it could be their daughters, wives, girlfriends or themselves receiving this treatment.
What can we do to get protection? And what can we do when the police themselves are the rapists, the ones who falsify statements, and the ones who accuse rape victims of lying? In the same week, it has come out that the police lied to the Hillsborough families about their loved ones in false statements, and a police officer was convicted of falsifying rape documents in order to drop cases. We want all such injustices exposed and stopped.
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.
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SlutWalk London 2012 - Saturday 22nd September 2012, meet 12.30pm at Top of Piccadilly (near Hyde Park Corner).
Tell us you're coming on Facebook!
Donate to SlutWalk London 2012! We have raised £1358 and need another £500 to cover the costs of the PA system, banner material and jackets for stewards. Thank you so much to everyone who has donated already.
SlutWalk London 2012!
Sheila Farmer's prosecution dropped
Photos: Tom Radenz and Claire Butler