On Saturday, September 22, Richmond will hold its first SlutWalk.  SlutWalk Richmond has been organized much like SlutWalk Toronto, first held last April in response to the statement the Toronto Police made that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized”.  As news of that event grew, the international outcry and support were astounding.  The purpose of these walks is to change the perception of sexual assault and what has become known as “slut-slamming”.

In 2010*, 4,687 forcible sex offenses were reported in the state of Virginia.  Sexual offenses as a whole remain largely unreported to law enforcement.  Only half (50%) of the individuals seeking sexual assault crisis services had reported their assault to law enforcement.  It is clear that there is still a sense of shame and blame surrounding a crime that is not the victim’s fault and needs to be admonished.

We will join communities around the world this year as we bring awareness to the Richmond area, which is home to more than five colleges, young adults and many sexual assault survivors.  As the organizer of this local event, I am encouraging everyone to attend the walk to show his or her support for our community’s sexual assault survivors, to bring an end to derogatory remarks and victim blaming, and to remove the thought that a person’s attire and behavior solicit being sexually assaulted.

This is a grass roots event with no formal financial support but is funded by passion, sweat and tears.  I am asking local galleries and artists to align their missions with the mission and principals of SlutWalk Richmond and be one of our Allies.  My hope is that by including community Allies on the SlutWalk Richmond website, people will realize the scope and importance of promoting education about rape and sexual assault.  You will become an important part of our community’s awareness.  Should you wish to be more than an Ally and be one of our Supporters, you will help further the success of the event.  Donations toward promotion materials, posters, advertising and permits would be greatly appreciated.  This day will be a victorious milestone for sexual assault survivors.

For more information on how we can all work together to raise awareness of sexual assault issues, please feel free to call Helen Rogers at 804.484.4908, or e-mail slutwalkrichmond@gmail.com.  Thank you for your consideration.


Helen Rogers

Chairperson/ Organizer

SlutWalk Richmond . 2012

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*Statistics provided by the “Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault in Virginia” 2011 Annual Report