2016 Event Announcement

Hi everyone,

Due to limited resources and the increasing costs of hosting this event (insurance and police fees) we are sorry to say that there will not be a SlutWalk held this summer. Thank you for your understanding and your ongoing support of this initiative. Any updates regarding future events will be shared on this Facebook page.

The SlutWalk Team

What Do You Wear to a SlutWalk?


What do you wear to SlutWalk? Well, what would you wear to get raped? Short skirt, tight dress, pants, sari, burka, flannel pajamas….anything.

The message of SlutWalk is not the wardrobe. Many journalists and critics entirely miss this point. The original protest in Toronto was based on comments by a Toronto police officer saying that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized”. In response, a group of women is organizing a march to express their frustrations. The biggest frustration? After all this time people are still saying stupid shit about how clothing causes rape. As if when a man sees a long pair of shapely legs and turns into some sort of beast unable to control his own urges. It’s honestly as insulting to men as it is to women.

While many participants do come dressed provocatively (I do), it’s hardly a requirement if you don’t want to. We want you to wear what makes you comfortable, and we want everyone else to understand that your clothes do not equal consent. But, that’s not the entirety of the message: the flip side is that dressing conservatively doesn’t save anyone from being sexually assaulted. Rape is about power, not sex. That is why Grandmothers and people with disabilities, women living in poverty, and homeless boys and girls are often targets for sexual violence.

I remember going to my first SlutWalk event and seeing a woman wearing full-bodied pajamas with a sign “this is what I was wearing when I was raped”. It was powerful—thinking back on it still gives me shivers.

In March, Twitter user @Steenfox (Christine Fox) sparked a conversation about what people were wearing when they were sexually assaulted. Some of the answers were collected by The Root:

@steenfox I was wearing a hooded sweatshirt, baggy jeans and a cap advertising the Beatles. You can RT

@steenfox I was wearing a brown Garanimals-type shirt w/green frogs on it, a brown fringe jacket, Wranglers and B. Brown loafers. 6. OKRT

@steenfox The first time? I was 8. I had on a sweater and jeans. The 2nd, work clothes: dress pants and a button up blouse

@steenfox 1st of multiple times by the same family member was at 7…wearing pajamas. 2nd time I was 12…sweatpants and tee…youth pastor

The link between a woman’s wardrobe and sexual assault is one of the most insidious myths that exist. It is victim-blaming. It is desperately seeking a way to make sense of sexual violence and protect yourself and people you love. It’s the same cultural narrative that tells young girls that their bodies are a distraction to young men–as though teen girl should, or even could, be responsible for the hormone-fueled thinking of teenage boys.

I understand why people may think that way—but we have to shift the focus off of the victims and on to the perpetrators of sexual assault. We have to insist that people are responsible for their own feelings and the earlier we teach young men and women, the better.

We need to tell people who rape that, “this dress is not a yes”. We need society to understand that telling anyone that something they did caused their sexual assault is wrong.

Wear as much or as little to SlutWalk as you want.

“Why the UCSB Shooter Has A Lot of Women Freaked Out”

I caught this when it was originally posted on Facebook, and it nearly pushed me to tears… If there’s only one post you can show someone about the happenings at UCSB, and the #yesallwomen hashtag on Twitter, this might be it.


Lynn Beisner: I realized today that a lot of guys might not understand why women are flipping out over the SB shooter. I can’t answer for every woman, but let me explain why this woman is flipped out:

Just about every woman, even those you consider ugly, have had at least one guy harass or threaten us because we didn’t have sex with him. They say outrageously violent things. For example, not too long ago I got a message from a guy who wanted to teach me a lesson by f-ing me up the ass with a broomstick.

What adds to our fear is the nasty things that men say about women online, where they tell the truth because they don’t fear censure. We are exposed to ever increasing levels of harassment and threats of violence.

One of the key ways that we have coped is by telling ourselves: “But no one is ever going to actually make good on those threats.”

And now we are having to face the fact that we have been lying to ourselves. We are not just at risk of being beaten or raped for our sexual choices. People can get mowed down with semi-automatic weapons.

We have to reevaluate how much danger we are really in, and that is terrifying.”




April 30 2014


The fourth annual Slut Walk Edmonton

MAY 31st 12:00PM at WILBERT MCINTYRE PARK (8331 104 St)


On January 24th, 2011, a representative of the Toronto Police gave shocking insight into the mentality of victim-blaming women who were targets of sexual assault by saying: “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized”. In response to this comment, a global movement was born. Slut Walk.

The first Slut Walk occurred on Sunday, April 3, 2011 in Toronto and quickly went viral with walks occurring across North America and in countries around the globe: Australia, Denmark, Finland, New Delhi, Argentina and Morocco among many, many others.

Here in Edmonton, we are celebrating our fourth year in pushing out the message that there’s nothing a person can ever do to deserve sexual violence. We have a line-up of amazing speakers: Danielle Boudreau, Junetta Jamerson, Jaqueline Fayant and musical artist Sierra Carter Jamerson. Our diverse group of speakers come from communities who are often under-represented in the conversations around sexual violence.


Last year, hundreds took to the streets to walk with us, and we are anticipating an even larger turn out this year. People of all gender expressions and sexual orientations are welcome to take part, as the walk is about making a unified statement about sexual assault and victims’ rights, and a demand for respect for all.


On Twitter @yegslutwalk or #YEGSlutWalk

Website: www.yegslutwalk.com

In Canada 50% of women will experience physical and or sexual violence in their lifetime and women, who are Indigenous, women of colour, sex workers, trans, or differently-abled face even higher rates of victimization. Because of prevalent gender roles, men and boys who face victimization and sexual assault are often ignored or laughed at because it is assumed that they always want sex.

Rape culture or a rape-prone world describes a culture where sexual violence is normal and prevailing attitudes, norms, and behaviours excuse, minimize, and even propagate sexual violence. Sexual violence happens often. It is misrepresented. It is not taken seriously. Consent Ed has a great section on rape myths.

Femifesto Media toolkit: reporting on sexual assault


Stephanie Chard by Tyler Mckay

Jason Garcia and Nicki Anderson by Tyler McKay

For media/interview requests:


Danielle Paradis (@daniparadis, Dani.paradis2@gmail.com)

The Case of the Ineffective “Don’t Get Raped” Safety Tips


By Franki Harrogate

**Disclaimer: given that the majority of sexual assaults are perpetrated by men, and that the majority of “safety tips” are directed at women, I’ve mostly utilized a gender binary in the following discussion.**

I’ve noticed something funny about the majority of the “safety tips” directed at women: besides being very obvious advice that the majority of women already follow, they are usually attempts to control women’s behaviour. Example: “Don’t walk through/go into alleys.” This was a (paraphrased) statement from the Edmonton Police Service after a number of sexual assaults in the south side of the city. And here’s why it’s so problematic:

It ignores the fact that women have a right – an unconditional, 100%, fundamental right – to be in public space, regardless of where that space is or their reasons for being there.


It ignores the fact that, right now, it’s winter (and when the ‘advice’ was issued, it was bloody cold out) and going through an alley may be the quickest way to get to one’s destination.

It puts the onus on women to prevent being attacked. There is no mention here of the perpetrator, or of the fact that attacking women and sexually assaulting them is wrong. It assumes that sexual assaults WILL happen, and that it is the responsibility of women to ensure it doesn’t happen to them.


Further, such “advice” actively ignores the statistics that show that ~80% of sexual assaults are committed by an individual known to the victim. I shouldn’t have to clarify that, but unfortunately, the fact that police services are still issuing “safety tips” that masquerade as legitimate solutions, but that actually demand that women change their behaviour and ignore the responsibility of men in committing sexual assault means that I must.  So let’s discuss the reality of “safety tips” and why they’re generally problematic:

“Take a martial art/self defence course so that you know how to fight back”. Let me be the first to say that if you are able to, and wish to, take martial arts or a self-defence class, by all means, do so. Just – please, don’t take one on the assumption that doing so equals becoming rape-proof. As I stated above, statistics show that most victims know their attacker. Given that armies spend an inordinate amount of time teaching recruits how to kill, how easy do you think it’s going to be to break the arm or gouge out the eyes of someone you know and may care about? And that’s if you’re even physically able to take a self-defence class in the first place.

Statistics also show that people with disabilities – i.e., those in long-term care, assisted living, etc. – are more vulnerable to sexual assault. That’s not a problem that can be resolved by self-defence courses. As well, not all self-defence or martial arts classes are created equal. There is no regulatory body that prevents Joe/Jane Schmoe from taking people’s money and teaching whatever they themselves feel are self-defence skills. And how does one access classes when money is an issue? If you’re trying to decide between paying bills and putting food on the table, where does the money for a class come from? Not to mention child care and/or transportation as barriers to being able to actually attend classes. And hey, fun fact: if someone roofies your drink, it doesn’t matter how big of a badass you are when you’re sober/conscious, or how many martial arts you know. Unconscious is unconscious and, despite what the movies and tv shows depict, no one is going to suddenly overcome drugs in their system to effectively fight off a sexual assault.


What it comes down to is this: my issue with being told to “take self-defense classes” as a way to prevent sexual assault is that it ignores the real problem: people who commit sexual assault.

“Don’t drink/get drunk/drink too much/drink when you’re out”.

Why shouldn’t women be able to drink if they desire to do so? The message never given: “Men, don’t drink because you could become a belligerent asshole who starts fights.” It’s okay for men to drink – it’s not okay for women, as the threat of sexual assault is held up as a punishment for disobeying. Now, I’m the first to admit I’m not an expert in everything, but if men have the right to go out, drink, and have a good time, why don’t women have the same right? Why is this a social activity that’s reserved entirely for men? Telling women not to drink (or how much they may drink) has absolutely nothing to do with preventing sexual assault and everything to do with controlling women’s behaviour. Once again: this “advice” completely ignores the actual problem – people who commit sexual assault.


“Have friends walk you home” – This works in theory, but remember that pesky statistic of ~80% of victims knowing their attacker? Your rapist could be that friend walking you home. You can’t tell someone is a rapist just by looking at them. People who commit sexual assault don’t wear signs saying “RAPIST.” They don’t wear black hats and have pointy mustaches that they twirl while narrating about their evil plots. Telling women that they need someone to walk them home:

a) implies that women need a protector (because they certainly can’t take care of themselves!);

b) assumes that whoever is enlisted to provide safety doesn’t turn out to be a predator themselves.


So I think it comes down this: what IS the “safety advice” that’s being disseminated? Does any of it focus on changing the real problem: people who feel entitled to sexually assault? Or is it predicated upon controlling women’s behaviour? Does it actually have the potential to remove all likelihood of rape, instead of merely turning a potential attacker on to another target?

If someone wants to take martial arts with the idea that s/he wants to be better prepared to defend herself if need be, great. I honestly think that everyone should learn to defend themselves to the best of their abilities. What frosts my cookies with respect to safety tips is when they’re presented as a panacea of rape prevention – “do this, and presto! No rape, ever!” when we know full well that’s not how it works. Plus, there’s the whole mess of safety tips being used against rape victims in court: “You didn’t do X, therefore you asked for it; everyone *knows* that if you don’t want to get raped, you do X.”

Here are some safety tips that can assist with reducing the likelihood of sexual assaults: If the cops know that a predator is repeatedly assaulting in a particular area, step up the number of patrols in that area. Get some foot patrols happening. Tell the residents what the suspect looks like, the times of the assaults, and the exact areas that the assaults were committed in. Give people the chance to decide, for themselves, how to best protect themselves. Work with the neighbourhood to “take back the alleys” by improving lighting, by encouraging foot traffic (more people means more eyes, which means more witnesses and less likelihood of a crime – any crime – occurring), and by encouraging reporting of suspicious behaviour.


Encourage talking about consent. Enthusiastic, ongoing, consent. Not just “no means no” – but that “Only yes means yes.” Tell men that they don’t have the right to women’s bodies, in any way, in any situation, in any circumstance. The “Don’t Be That Guy” campaign by SAVE that was later adopted by other agencies throughout the country sparked a reduction in sexual assaults. That’s a clear indication that education can have an effect.


Bystander interventions are another great option. And by that, I mean on-the-ground work. Stop victim-blaming. Don’t tell rape jokes, and don’t put up with others doing so. When you see people in an iffy situation, keep your eyes on it and watch to see what’s going on. Call the police, or a bouncer, or a security guard to intervene if you’re unsure or don’t have the ability to become involved yourself. Sometimes even just going over and asking the person who’s causing the problem the time, or if they know how to get to ______ place, can provide enough of a distraction for whoever they’re troubling to disengage and leave the situation. If you know that someone in your circle of friends has a history of inappropriate behaviour, refuse to invite that person to parties/events. Rapists can only operate in a group if the group ignores or bypasses their behaviour.


Finally – and, in my opinion, most importantly – when someone says that they have been assaulted, believe them. Ask “How can I support you?” instead of “What were you wearing?” Familiarize yourself with the local resources and groups that assist survivors of sexual assault. Never, ever ask “Why didn’t you _____?” or “Shouldn’t you have ____?” Placing the blame on the victim of an assault removes the perpetrator from the equation completely. And let’s be honest here: the only thing that sexual assault survivors have in common is that they were in the presence of someone who decided to commit an assault.


If there is something that you, yourself, do in order to make yourself feel safer, by all means, do it. Whether it’s taking martial arts, or taking your drink with you when you go to the bathroom, or whatever – if you feel empowered by what you are doing, that’s great. But please don’t tell others that they “must do XYZ in order to avoid rape” because that’s not how it works.

What that does is perpetuate the message that sexual assaults are a given, so the only way to make sure it doesn’t happen to you is to obey the rules – so that it can happen to someone else. The only 100%, surefire way to avoid being sexually assaulted is to never be around someone who would commit an assault – and as I pointed out above, they don’t wear signs. Let’s stop making the conversation about “How to avoid getting raped” and turn it to “Stop raping!” instead.