The V Word

Advocating to end sexual and domestic violence




I think the great thing about this cause area, to end violence against women and other genders, is the diversity of opinions about who women are, who victims are, who survivors of violence are. Our cause area is made up of billions of faces, representing all aspects of society. This means we gather our strength from our diversity, because it will take billions of voices to make this change. It only makes it harder to gather such diversity into a cohesive voice to make change, but we must do it. The idea of slutwalks comes out of the nonsense that clothing invites rape and pushes wearers to the status of “less than” in our society. These events, like all events that push boundaries, will bring awareness to those who may need to see the ludicrousness of linking clothing to rape acceptance. Not all people, even victims, will understand them. There are, of course, many campaigns that exist to address these issues in other formats. I hope we can support them all, as it takes many, many types of speech to effect changes in society. I think we may want to consider forgiving survivors who can’t understand all the messages our cause needs to put out there because their wounds are deep and we don’t know what will trigger them. Just as we don’t always know what someone else does that could trigger us. Solidarity takes acceptance and support, however different we think we need to pursue this common goal.

Check out your local community for an Abolish the Blame or SlutWalk event and consider supporting their message to stop blaming victims of crime.

September 22nd is an Abolish the Blame event in Richmond, Virginia. Check them out on Facebook events and their page: slutwalkrva. And follow them on twitter slutwalkrva

SlutWalk – RVA style…. come out and advocate against victim blaming

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  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 

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