The city's first and possibly only SlutWalk will take place this afternoon (May 15) in downtown Vancouver.
The event is modelled on a similar protest in Toronto on April 3. This came after a police officer said that women should not dress like "sluts" if they don't want to be victimized.
Earlier this year, another controversy arose when Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench Justice Robert Dewar commented on the way a woman was dressed in a sexual-assault case. He gave the accused man a two-year conditional sentence, concluding that "sex was in the air" before she was assaulted against her will just off a dark highway near Thompson, Manitoba.
“There is no such thing as dressing like a slut,” SlutWalk Vancouver organizer Katie Raso told the Straight last month. “Because there is no such thing as dressing for sexual assault. We encourage participants to wear whatever they would normally wear. We are trying to bring to light that when we excuse away sexual assaults by blaming the victims, we are ensuring that assaults will continue.”
At 1 p.m., people will gather on the south side of the Vancouver Art Gallery for a drum circle and to hear opening remarks from Women Against Violence Against Women outreach coordinator Ariana Barer and victim-services director Arlana Green.
They'll be followed by Pivot Legal Society child-welfare campaigner Darcie Bennett, Battered Women's Support Services executive director Angela Marie MacDougall, and COPE councillor Ellen Woodsworth.
From there, SlutWalk Vancouver participants will march down Granville Street, with various speakers delivering messages along the way.
The event will be followed tonight with a party at the Red Room, starting at 8 p.m.