D.C.

Slutwalk march to end victim-blaming in sexual assaults

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Started in Canada earlier this year, so-called Slutwalks have been held in several U.S. cities and in other countries.

A Slutwalk march in Boston, Ma.

Today, it came to D.C. and raised plenty of eyebrows -- which is just what organizers say they intended.

It’s been likened to bra burning of the 1960s: Young women promoting a cause in an unconventional and controversial way.

It’s called the Slutwalk.

Promoted as a march to end victim-blaming for sexual assault, thousands have participated in similar rallies that have taken place across the world, including London and Australia, since the Spring.

“It definitely gets people talking about it and it’s created this global discussion about sexual assault that we've never seen before,” said Samantha Wright, a D.C. Slutwalk organizer.

But the Slutwalk isn’t without controversy. With some calling it misguided with a tone and frivolity that distracts from an important and serious message.

“It's just ridiculous to conflate this with a good issue with celebrating sluts,” said one detractor. “Lets face it, sluts, if you want to use that term, are not empowered women."

Maryland State Delegate Ariana Kelly is a speaker at Saturday’s event. She said she understands the controversy but also understands the cause. She was raped as a teenager and then accused by an emergency room doctor of being promiscuous.

“We need to change the way as a society we work with and think about victims and survivors of sexual assault<” Kelly said.

Kelly says that every generation has a way of communicating that resonates with them. And if it takes something called Slutwalk to create a global conversation, then she’s all for it.

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