Hundreds expected to join London SlutWalk march

11:28 22 September 2012

SlutWalk protesters outside Downing Street earlier this week. Picture: Isabel Infantes

SlutWalk protesters outside Downing Street earlier this week. Picture: Isabel Infantes

Archant

Hundreds of women are expected to take part in a march in central London today to protest the way the legal system lets down victims of rape.

SlutWalk will see campaigners, some in their underwear, march from Piccadilly to Trafalgar Square, where there will be a rally.

The protest is part of the global SlutWalk movement and also involves the campaign group Women Against Rape, based in Camden.

Earlier this week SlutWalk protesters gathered outside Downing Street to call on Prime Minister David Cameron to ensure the justice system takes rape and sexual assault cases more seriously.

According to the group, only seven out of every 100 reported rapists are convicted.

The statement said: “SlutWalk wants justice for the thousands of rape survivors who were told by the police and courts that they were dressed too provocatively, they didn’t scream loudly enough, they were too drunk or too young or too mentally ill to understand what had happened to them, they must have consented because the rapist was their (ex)husband or (ex)boyfriend, they were sex workers and should be prosecuted rather than their attackers, they were asylum seekers and should be sent back to the detention centre or deported...”

Today’s march follows a similar event held in London last year.

The statement continued: “By marching again this year, we are letting the authorities know that we will not go away until they take rape seriously by thoroughly investigating and prosecuting, so that more rapists are convicted, men generally are discouraged from sexual violence, and women get the safety and justice we deserve. We all have a right to live free from the fear of rape.

“We demand a change in police and prosecution priorities, so more rapists are convicted and we get the safety and justice we deserve. We want the freedom to live without fear of rape.”

The SlutWalk movement started in Toronto, Canada, in 2011 after a policeman told a group of law students that in order to avoid being raped women should not dress provocatively.

Since then thousands of women have taken part in protests and marches in Canada, the United States and Britain.

The SlutWalk march will start at 12.30pm on Saturday at the Hyde Park Corner end of Piccadilly.

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