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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.

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