Following in the footsteps of SlutWalk Toronto, we are giving a loud, local voice to call an end to slut-shaming and victim-blaming everywhere: from within our homes, classrooms and workplaces to the media, streets and courthouses. In res
we celebrate our right to enjoy safe, consensual sex without apology, justification or explanation. When we dress or express in a way perceived as provocative, we are called SLUTS, or similar terms to incite shame, disdain and pity. So we are claiming and reinventing the word; by taking it for ourselves, we’re dismantling the harmful stigma it wields.
Everyone deserves respect, protection and justice when faced with sexualized assault and harassment — no matter how we dress or express ourselves. There is too much evidence showing us that survivors of sexualized assault and harassment – usually women – are not only blamed for the abuse they suffer, but are often viewed as having invited it. Instead of dignity and a place to heal, survivors are often met with shame, blame and further oppression. No one deserves this.
We call on our protective services to not only do their job, but to take more direction from the agencies working to advocate for us. We want our police force to be more transparent with their practices and budgets, and confront how they help to perpetuate victim-blaming and slut-shaming in our community. We ask our elected officials to make our dignity a priority, and to initiate a federal commission on sexual assault. We ask our protective services to work alongside those agencies working with sex workers to help combat the violence they face every day. We stand against those who point, jeer, stare and whisper behind our backs. We ask that blame be placed where it belongs: on those who perpetrate sexualized assault and harassment. We will not be shamed, ignored, pitied or devalued anymore. We’ve had enough.
We acknowlege the consequences of the genocide of the First Nations peoples and white colonization in the land now known as Canada. Due to the legislated racism of the Indian Act and the residential school system, thousands of Metis and First Nations peoples were subject to tens of thousands of sexualized assaults with little to no access to protection or justice. The bodies of First Nations and Metis women viewed as disposable in our culture continues with the Harper government canceling the funding of Sisters in Spirit last year, a national project compiling data on hundreds murdered and missing Aboriginal women. This funding must be replaced and expanded now.
Everyone, from all points in our community, people of any age, gender expression or orientation, ability, ethnicity — slut or ally — are invited to join SlutWalk. This event is about reclamation, celebration and calling for justice, so please wear whatever makes you feel comfortable. Sisters, brothers, parents, children and grandparents; we’re in this together. Slut-shaming and victim-blaming didn’t start with us, but we can help make it a part of history.
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