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Richmond’s first “Slut Walk” brings up sexual assault awareness

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – To speak out against how sexual assault is viewed today in America, more than 170 people took to the streets in Richmond’s first ever “Slut Walk.” 

Their creed: “Abolish the Blame: Bringing Awareness to Sexual Assault and Victim Blaming.”

Speaking through a loud speaker in front of dozens at Byrd Park, Sarah Boggs shared her story for the first time.

“I was raped by two boys in one night,” said Boggs to the crowd.  “Hearing other people’s stories, telling them mine, it really helped a lot.  It made me so much more comfortable telling my story.”

After a march through the Fan District, survivors and supporters came together to talk about the main problem they see with how society views sexual assaults.

“The blame comes back on the victim, it should have nothing to do with what the victim is wearing, how old the victim is, what race the victim is,” said Kate Rush-Cook, a victim of sexual assault.

Organizers said victims of sexual assault are often blamed for the attack because of the way the person dresses or acts.  It is a social stigma they want to change.

Jennifer Sublett, an assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Richmond, spoke at Saturday’s event.  She said sexual assault cases are difficult to prosecute.

“It’s always one person’s word against the other,” said Sublett.  “It’s not about sexuality; it’s about vulnerability.”

“Wearing a certain type of clothing isn’t going to stop it.  It isn’t going to stop a person,” said Dominique Lee, a victim of sexual assault.

“I’ve heard people say that she’s going to be raped seeing a girl walk by.  People have to realize that that’s not okay,” said Boggs.

Although this was the first “Slut Walk” in Richmond, it won’t be the last.  Organizers said they will continue to share their message by doing another Slut Walk next year.

To read more about the “Slut Walk” movement internationally, visit Slut Walk Richmond’s website.

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