Sydney Australia's SlutWalk
Sydney SlutWalk small but powerful Tuesday, June 14, 2011 » 05:22am
Sydney's own SlutWalk protest delivered a powerful message even though numbers were small.
A rainy Queen's birthday long weekend seemed to deter the thousands who had thrown their support behind the Monday event on the SlutWalk Sydney Facebook page.
Most of the 200-odd people who gathered at Town Hall were rugged up for winter conditions.
Some women were scantily clad and many men in attendance were dressed in women's clothes.
They carried signs with the slogans: 'Proud and happy slut', 'Blame rapists not boobs' and one woman had written on her breasts: 'Can't touch these without consent'.
SlutWalk organiser Samadhi Arktoi gave a brief speech to the crowd before leading the protest through the CBD.
'We're here today to declare that slut-shaming and victim-blaming have to stop,' Ms Arktoi said.
'We're here because we know that whatever the circumstances, sexual assault is never the fault of the victim.'
The protesters marched to police headquarters, at Surry Hills, which caused traffic delays but received broad support from onlookers.
Three men drinking outside a pub told AAP: 'We think it's great'.
The protesters chanted a number of slogans including: 'One, two, three, four, we won't take the blame no more. Five, six, seven, eight, consensual sex is fking great.'
One woman who had her young son with her said the protest was crucial to airing the issue.
'We need to make this public,' she told AAP.
The march ended at Harmony Park, next to police HQ, where a number of people gave speeches impassioned from their personal experiences of sexual assault.
Nina Funnell, a member of the NSW Premier's Council in Preventing Violence Against Woman, said she was grabbed and sexually assaulted four years ago while walking down a street in her neighbourhood.
Days later she viewed a line-up of suspects.
'Two middle-aged male police officers standing behindme had a conversation about how young women these days don't understand the trouble that they get themselves into,' Ms Funnell told the crowd.
Wife and mother Anni Piper told the crowd that legal proceedings recently concluded into allegations she was repeatedly sexually assaulted as an adolescent.
'During the course of the trial, I was questioned for an entire eight days,' Ms Piper told the crowd.
'The effect on me was profound and the alleged offender was found not guilty.'
SlutWalk events have been held in cities around the world and began in Canada in April after a male Toronto police officer said publicly that women should avoid dressing 'like sluts' in order not to be victimised.
In May, thousands took to the streets during Melbourne's SlutWalk.
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