VIDEO + PICS: SlutWalk supporters march through Greenside to stop victim blaming

SlutWalk marchers stop traffic to spread their message.

“No means no and yes means yes” was the slogan chanted as hundreds of supporters joined the SlutWalk Johannesburg 2017.

Hosted at the Pirates Bowling Club on 16 September the SlutWalk saw men, women, children and even dogs unite against the stereotype of victim blaming when it comes to rape.

Other posters demand the end of a patriarchal society.

The 3km walk around the area was a delight to witness with people chanting slogans, waving posters and banners to create awareness. Metro Police and motorcycle group Sons of Johannesburg made sure that walkers were escorted safely.

Read: WATCH: #SlutWalk a success

It started with a Canadian police officer telling university students that if they didn’t want to be raped they should stop dressing like sluts.

The first ever walk was in 2011 in both Canada and South Africa. Sandi Shultz who has always been passionately outspoken about challenging rape culture started the Johannesburg chapter.

Stunning women Tiffany Smith, Monique Mills and Genevieve Kok sport bright red hair and bodysuits.

One of the main organisers, Karmilla Pillay-Siokos said, “People ask questions like, “What were you wearing?” or “Why did you drink so much?” This implies that it was the victim’s fault for being raped rather than the rapist’s choice to violate another human being.”

Read: Principal in the dock for alleged rape

Pillay-Siokos pointed that while the walk couldn’t end rape, it does help survivors understand that they are not to blame for something that someone else chose to do to them.

Monash students showcase their SlutWalk banner.

“I have lost count of the personal responses I have had from survivors thanking me for helping them on their healing journeys. In terms of shifting general perceptions around rape culture and slut shaming,” she explained.

Outfits ranged from the nearly naked to jeans and a T-shirt. Some brave activists sported bras and panties but the whole point was that what you wear is irrelevant.

There was no cost for the run but vests and bracelets were sold as well as donations boxes to pay towards the expenses of running the march.

Vaness Msolomba, Samantha Atrash and Chantal Rugira represent the Tears Foundation.

Although participation has doubled in the last three years and this year saw the numbers doubling again, it is a shame not to see more support from the public.

There were talks by survivors, describing their healing journeys. The Tears Foundation had a stall to spread awareness about their care kits for survivors of sexual assault.

Ashtyn Mackenzie

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