SlutWalk London 2012 will be in September!
SlutWalk London: the radical notion that nobody deserves to be raped.
We want to make this year’s rally bigger and better than last year! We hope you will all join us in September to protest the silencing of our voices, the repression of our choices and the violence against our bodies.
This year we will be back even louder than before!
Watch this space for further details, our aims for 2012 and news!
Visibility of Women of Colour in SlutWalk London
The idea for our meeting grew out of SlutWalk 2011 which some of us took part in. When we heard of SlutWalks happening around the world, in Brazil, Costa Rica, India and Morocco we knew that many women of colour were involved, including immigrant women seeking asylum inthe UK and sex workers. But this was hidden by the media. We intend to be vocal and visible in SlutWalk 2012.
Why should we meet as women of colour?
Because we want to:
• Celebrate our participation in SlutWalk and the work that we have been doing since SlutWalk began.
• Speak out against the racism we and our communities face from the authorities, NGOs … when we try to get protection and justice from sexual and other violence.
• Talk about how poverty and government cuts make us vulnerable to violence. And work with other movements including Occupy and the anti-cuts groups, to show the connections between our issues
• Show SlutWalk is important because victim blaming and slut shaming are not disconnected from sexism and racism. SlutWalk is part of the anti-rape movement and we want to make it part of the anti-racist movement too
We refuse to work in isolation and will continue to:
• Campaign against being silenced and dismissed
Expose how the 1% aim to divide us and prevent the 99% from coming together
SlutWalk is for all - we all belong together, no matter who we are/how we dress/what we do
This event is organised by women of colour but all are welcome.
FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE - Here.
To RSVP please e-mail: email@example.com
Or call 020 7482 2496
International Day Against Victim-Blaming!
To celebrate the birthday of SlutWalk… It’s International Day Against Victim-Blaming!
“On April 3rd, 2011 the first SlutWalk event took place in Toronto, Canada.
Inspired and influenced by powerful anti-violence efforts that came before us, SlutWalk aimed to fight against victim-blaming as a pervasive experience of sexual violence. It began in Toronto, Canada but quickly messages against victim-blaming spread to cities and communities around the world. We all want to see an end to victim-blaming. In the last year, we have seen amazing international collective action fighting against victim-blaming and fighting for respect and support of all survivors of sexual violence. In recognition of these efforts and many other ongoing actions, we mark April 3rd, 2012 as the first International Day Against Victim-Blaming.
We invite you to join an online day of action for the International Day Against Victim-Blaming. Start conversations, take a stand, and take up space on April 3rd to fight for our right to live free of violence and victim-blaming. Join us in our mission to spread the word that those who experience sexual violence are never the ones at fault.”
Here are some photos you can share on any social networking website! The wonderful folk at Toronto made them… share them far and wide! You can also join in on twitter by using the hashtags #EndVictimBlaming and #MyBodyIsNotAnInsult
We demand our bodies and all bodies be respected. Our worth as human beings is not determined by our sexuality.
No matter what I wear.
No matter what I look like.
No matter what my gender expression is.
No matter how much, how little, or what kind of sex I have.
No matter what I’ve done before.
No matter where I come from.
No matter how my body has been ‘devalued’ by others.
No matter what I’ve been called.
Because the victim of sexual violence is never at fault.
This is the blog of a rape survivor who, after having survived multiple attacks, now wants to help others. This is what she says: ‘I beg of you if your are sitting there holding in a secret like this or any other secrets that you feel you can not tell anyone else as you fear discrimination or judgement, email me, it will help you transform from a Victim to a Survior - firstname.lastname@example.org’
A disabled sexual assault survivor speaks out: “I had fantastic support and still felt to blame”
[trigger warning: description of sexual assault]
It was a Sunday, at about 5pm in 2003, at Derby station, and I was waiting on a platform when I clocked a guy walk past me a few times. I remember thinking it was odd because it was like he was literally circling me, and he was quite close. Typically British I didn’t really think anything of it, and thought that when the train got in, I could get on and wouldn’t see him again.
As the train pulled in and I went to get on, he was behind me all of a sudden. I always went for 2 seats on their own, and did again, but when I got near, he followed me in, oddly saying ‘you first’ despite me being in front. I still thought that it would be an awkward journey rather than dangerous and just started to look out the window rather than talk to him. I can’t really remember how long it was before he spoke, or what order he said things. I think he started by showing me some new trainers and then telling me of a club in Nottingham which wouldn’t let him in because he had the trainers on and because he was drunk.
I remember feeling uncomfortable how much anger he was showing about something insignifcant. He then showed me 2 peoms he’d written, I can’t remember the first but the second one terriefied me from the start. It was basically about a woman he saw from a distance in a club, he decided he wanted this woman and nothing would stop him. When he got close to her, he saw she had a wedding ring on, but believed that she only wore it as a flirtation, to encourage him to try harder. He told me that he had written it as he felt some women did things like that.
I can’t remember whether it was the poem, or him, which went on to tell me that he would treat her as badly (sexually) as he wanted and she would have deserved it, even secretly wanted it. I remember starting to feel really uneasy, I hadn’t really said anything by this time, I’d been looking out the window most of the time. A conductor came round and I felt an enourmous sense of wanting to get his attention, coupled with an enourmous sense of fear of annoying this man. I’m almost ashamed to say that I showed my ticket and let the conductor pass.
The guy then put his face close to mine and tried to kiss me, I turned my face to the window and caught my reflection, which was crying. He put his hand on my knee, and I tried clenching my legs together, he moved his hand further up my knee and between my legs untill he was touching me, I’d been saying no, probably too quietly as stupidly I didn’t want to make a fuss, and he said ‘you haven’t got any arms, you can’t do anything about this’. I haven’t mentioned my disability before as it has never been an issue, but this made it one.
We must have pulled into Nottingham around about then, I asked to leave as it was my stop, he got up but then gathered his things saying he was getting off too. I saw a woman get up about my age (I’d have been 22) and I moved as quickly as I could to her, still not really wanting to draw attention and I got to be stood behind her just a fraction before he got behind me, but before I could say anything, he put his arm round me and thrust his groin into me. I guess (apart from my tears) we just looked like a couple. He kept his arm round me till we got to the concourse, before we got there I saw two police officers walking in the opposite direction but again was scared to do anything.
I didn’t want to leave the station with him anywhere near so said I needed to get some tickets for an ongoing journey, he told me he was going for a drink, told me where and even invited me for a drink before kissing me on the cheek and saying how nice it was to meet me. I watched him leave then jumped a taxi home. I don’t know why I didn’t go to find the police, or tell anyone on the station, I just wanted to get home.
I didn’t tell anyone for a few days, I didn’t leave home actually. In the end I told a friend who encouraged me to go to the police. I finally did, and got an incredibly supportive response from them. I gave information over the phone then two officers came to take a statement later that day. One of the officers asked me what I was wearing on the day and I remember feeling glad I had been wearing jeans, a jumper and a long coat. I voiced my worries to the officer about how glad I was I wasn’t wearing something that could have been interpreted as ‘asking for it’, and the police man (I’ll always be thankful of this) admitted that whilst clothing was important in the court room, whatever I had been wearing would not ever give someone the right to feel they could take what they want. This policeman coincidentally turned out to be the one I had seen at the train station whilst I was with the guy.
They took a really detailed statement, reasurred me that none of it was my fault and left, promising to keep in touch. Asd they left, they told me they suspected who it was, he had really identifable tattos on his face, and knew where he often was. I heard from them again a few weeks later, they had arrested the man they suspected and had gone to his flat with a warrant where they found the trainers he told me about, and also the poems. He was arrested and charged and they said I’d be advised of any court processes as he was pleading not guilty so I would have to give evidence.
I got a letter from Witness Care with proposed dates etc but then heard nothing for 2 years. In that time, I had moved house, graduated, changed jobs etc, and one day in 2005, I received a call from the policeman who took my statement. He said that the guy had fled the coutry to India, he tried to enter the UK again and was arrested for my indecent assault, I never really found out why noone told me he’d fled. In credit to the policeman though, he had tried calling me at my old address, and somehow tracked down my Mums address who gave him my number, again I’ll always be grateful that he took the effort to find me. The guy changed his plea to guilty and was later sentenced to 4 years imprisonment and put on the sex offenders register indefinately. I received confirmation of this in writing, I remember thinking it was odd that it was the first time I found out his name.
At this time, I was contacted by victim support, they came and took information from me to be used in licence conditions, everything seemed perfectly sensible untill the lady asked if I’d like an exclsuion zone to be given to him so he couldn’t enter specified areas. She thankfully discouraged me from taking this as she said he would then be told my full name and part of my address so he knew where to avoid!!
Looking back, I find the whole thing really tough, but not for the most obvious reasons. I only remember small details, I remember what I was wearing, and things he said, but can’t even remember what month it was, let alone the date. I remember the physical aspect didn’t disgust me as much as his use of my disability against me. I never told many people what he said, just what he did, because he is about the only person who has ever left me feeling vulnerable for my disability, and it isn’t something I care to admit. I don’t remember his name, its something I tried to do intentionally. I’m not really sure why, I think it made it more real to attribute it to a person. I alse remember the importance of small things, such as how I was treated by the police. And I remember asking my sister what would happen if I gave evidence and he was still found not guilty. She said that him being found not guilty didn’t make me guilty. That single point is something I struggled with, I never made peace with the fact that people wouldn’t believe I had in some way, instigated it.
I had fantastic, and full support from everyone involved and still felt to blame. I still feel angry that it happened, but I find it harder to think people (men and women) don’t always get treated as well as I did, and don’t get enough support. My experience was relatively minor, I can’t imagine how people cope when they feel they are not only taking on their attacker, but also the system. It’s tough enough as it is.
Announcing SlutWalk London 2012
You are all invited to SlutWalk London 2012!
THE RADICAL NOTION THAT NOBODY DESERVES TO BE RAPED
MEET 12.30 at Top of Piccadilly. SET OFF at 1.30pm.
Saturday 22nd September 2012
Route: Piccadilly > Piccadilly Circus > Haymarket > Pall Mall East > Trafalgar Square
March Ends: 2.30pm at Trafalgar Square; anyone who cannot make the march can meet us there for the rally!
Estimated Marching Time: 1-1 and a half hours.
March Length: 0.8 miles
Rally: There will be a rally in Trafalgar Square with speakers, which will take about 1-1 and a half hours. The rally will definitely be finished by 5pm when we have to leave the square; anyone booking coaches should keep this time in mind as while the rally is likely to be over by 3.30-4pm, we can’t predict everything.
Toilets: Public toilets at Green Park Tube Station, in Green Park, in Piccadilly Circus tube station and in Trafalgar Square. Only the Trafalgar Square toilets have wheelchair access.
Accessibility: There are no steps on the route, however it goes uphill at Piccadilly and downhill at Haymarket. There is a lift at Trafalgar Square which is suitable for wheelchairs.
Parking: Please note - there will be limited vehicle access to Trafalgar Square and the route area. We cannot guarantee nearby parking.
Seating: There will be seating areas at the sides of the stage.
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 (men included!), 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.
~~~~How you can help~~~~
Why are you marching? We need as many people as possible to speak out against the excuses that are made for rape. Tell us why you are marching with us on the 22nd and we will publish it on our website. Email us your story at email@example.com
We still need some money to cover the costs of the PA system, banner material, jackets for stewards etc. We would be very grateful for any donations. You can donate here -http://bit.ly/slutwalk2012donate
We are looking for stewards to assist on the day of the march. If you would like to help out please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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