It shouldn’t matter what victims of rape or sexual assault were wearing. That was the message Saturday at the first-ever SlutWalkNYC, where over 1,000 people marched on Union Square, making it loud and clear that no one — no matter how short their skirt, or how tight their dress — deserves to be attacked.
The SlutWalk march started in April of this year in Toronto, after a police officer there reportedly said, “Women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.”
Organizers say they are fighting to end the victim-blaming that so often accompanies sexual assault crimes.
“We figured it was time to do it here, because we can really be a game-changer,” said organizer Melissa Marturano, 23, of bringing the march to New York.
One woman from Brooklyn, who gave her name as Kaitlin Dale, said she attended Saturday's march because she wanted to support fellow rape survivors. Dale, 24, was attacked in 2009 in New York City after finishing a shift as a waitress. A man drugged her drink and followed her home. He then raped her in her apartment, she said. Dale wants victims to know it is never their fault. “We have the right ... not be blamed for it,” she said.
Wear what you like
The organizers of the march do not encourage those who attend to wear sexy clothes — women can wear what they want. After all, women can be raped in a skirt or sweatpants, organizers said. “You can be raped in anything,” organizer Melissa Marturano told Metro.
Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @AlisonatMetro.