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Slutwalk Toronto targets the stigma of victims of sexual assault

Cristina Chang

The organization focuses the cause of rape away from the stereotype assigned to victims

A few weeks after Slutwalk Toronto took to the streets in solidarity to victims of sexual assaults, Alyssa Teekah, the group’s outreach coordinator and liaison to York University, received an email from a girl in the United States.

The girl, now 18, wrote that when she was 16, she had been raped by a group of men. As a result, she internalized the pain and kept silent, blaming that the assault on herself. But after hearing about Slutwalk, she felt that for the first time, she did not do anything wrong to deserve her assault and did not have to suffer alone.

“When we are critiqued and when folks tell us Slutwalk is pointless, I think of this story because it reminds me that for every person, SlutWalk means something different,” said Teekah.

Slutwalk Toronto is an organization that fights the stereotype that women who are sexually assaulted were asking for it or deserved it. The “tipping point” came after a police officer at York University said that women can avoid sexual assault by not dressing like “sluts,” said Teekah.

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