I’ll never forget it and I’ll also never forget the movement this comment ignited by those, like myself, who are sick and tired of the victim-blaming that so often follows the aftermath of a sexual assault. After the incident, over 3,000 people marched in Toronto against the officer’s comment in what was coined a “SlutWalk.”
Since the first demonstration, other cities like Boston, Chicago, and Hamilton have held their own “Slutwalk” events and now the movement is heading east – far east – all the way to New Delhi.
Slutwalk Reaches New Delhi
A 19-year-old college student, Umang Sabarwal, from New Delhi believes it’s time for her city of 16 million to confront the problem of women’s safety with their very own “SlutWalk.”
Last year, one quarter of all the rapes that occurred in India were reported in New Delhi. And that’s not all. According to a survey conducted by a human rights organization, four out of five women say they’ve been verbally harassed, half say they’ve been stalked, and one-third admit to being victims of physical assault.
“Things are getting worse in Delhi for women and we haven’t been doing anything about it,” Sabarwal says. “You get on a metro (subway) car here and men stare like animals at you, like you’re meat…You have these police checkpoints around and assaults happen right in front of them by men driving around in their cars. This violence against women is something we talk about every single day in our classes.”
The “SlutWalk” is scheduled to take place in late July and according to Facebook more than 4,000 people have confirmed their attendance. Angered that women may dress “slutty” on the walk, a Facebook user commented the following:
“Women are responsible for the consequences of wearing such outfittings. It is a very sensitive issue…There are other ways of emancipation. They are going back to 5,000 years. How about men start walking on the street exposed? Let’s all make the street interesting.”
Obviously this user has misunderstood the purpose of the walk but maybe getting the conversation started with the “SlutWalk” is a step in the right direction to raising awareness of victim-blaming and sexual assault in a city where women feel so unsafe.
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