ALL FOR IT
Janice Kennedy, executive director of the Bay St. George Women’s Centre, said she was “all for it” when Autumn Parsons suggested the women’s group hold a SlutWalk in Stephenville.
She said a lot of marginalized people are never believed or made to feel that sexual assault is their fault because of the way they dress.
Kennedy said the word “slut” is used to make women feel dehumanized. “The fact is here in North America we have a rape culture society and what SlutWalk does is calls that out,” she said. Kennedy said women are not reporting sexual assaults because they’re afraid of what will come out in court; from what they were wearing to how much alcohol she consumed on the night the incident took place.
“Sexual assault is not about the clothes you wear, it’s all about power and control,” she said.
It’s estimated one in four women experience sexual assault in Newfoundland and Labrador, said Kennedy.
She said the word slut is used as a derogatory word, and organizers of SlutWalk want to take the stigma away from it and talk about how people use it to harm others.
“We want to force the word slut into a public conversation and force a conversation around consent,” Kennedy said.
She said the strong culture of victim blaming must change.
About the Stephenville SlutWalk:
• June 27 starting at 7 p.m.
• Leaving from Killick Café and going to the Bay St. George Women’s Centre.
• Heather Jarvis, cofounder of SlutWalk, will be in person or via Skype.
• Open floor for anyone wanting to share stories.
• Safe space afterwards.