Hundreds of female activists, some dressed in little more than their underwear, protested outside Downing Street yesterday in protest over attitudes towards rape victims.
The march, organised by the London branch of the global ‘Slut Walk’ campaign group, called on the Prime Minister to ensure the criminal justice system takes rape and sexual assault cases more seriously.
The global campaign was seeded by a policeman in 2011 in Toronto, Canada, after a policeman controversially said women should ‘avoid dressing like sluts’ if they don’t want to risk being sexually assaulted.
Some campaigners dressed in costume for the rally
Activists participate in London Slut Walk 2012 in central London
The event in London on Saturday followed a similar semi-clad march of women in Paris this week.
Women from Ukraine who have become world famous for protesting topless against sexism, prostitution and the exploitation of women, ran a training camp in the French capital on Tuesday.
Supportive partners dressed up for the campaign
The global campaign was seeded by a policeman in 2011 in Toronto, Canada, after a policeman controversially said women should ‘avoid dressing like sluts’ if they don’t want to risk being sexually assaulted
The growing Urkainian movement formed in 2008, known as Femen, and the global Slut Walk campaign which has gained world renown, both share common goals and ultimately, through their semi-naked mean of protest, attract publicity.
Quoted in The Observer, Alexandra Shevchenko, one of Femen’s founders, said: ‘It works. Of course, people talk about our nakedness, but they are also listening to our message.’
The march in London saw women activists wave placards and banners saying: ‘If only police were as supportive as my bra,’ and ‘Police prioritiose car crime over rape.’
One sign read: ‘The courts uphold a legal system which is sexist, classist and racist.’
Campaigners highlighted the low prosecution rate for rape cases int eh UK
They urged the government to reconsider how the police and the justice system deals with rape and sexual assault cases
The women believe that a lack of prosecution in rape case sin the UK is due in part to a culture of victim-blaming. Some of the women taking part in the rally had been raped more than once.
A spokeswoman, quoted in The Sun, said: ‘We want justice for the thousands of rape survivors who the police and courts have told that they were dressed too provocatively, that they didn’t scream loudly enough, that they were too young or mentally ill to understand it was rape.
The campaign group met at 12.30pm at the top of Piccadilly before setting off on their march through the street of London, much to the surpirse of shoppers and tourists enjoying the last of the Indian summer.
The march ended in Trafalgar Square.
Support for the campaign came in all shapes and sizes