Thousands gathered Sunday afternoon to rally against the stereotypes that led a Toronto police officer to tell women to “avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.”
Const. Michael Sanguinetti’s talk about sexual assault to Osgoode Hall Law School students last January angered many and prompted a group of women to plan SlutWalk.
“SlutWalk is about expressing our unity, fighting to shed the stereotypes and myths of sexual assault and supporting a better understanding of why sexual assault happens, putting the blame where it belongs: on those who perpetrate it,” the event’s website reads.
“SlutWalk Toronto started from a position of feeling like we’d had enough – enough of being angry, wanting better education, awareness and treatment and not seeing more about it.”
When the story hit the news, the Toronto Police Service called Const. Sanguinetti’s comments “completely unacceptable” and apologized to the students in the audience.
“If that type of, frankly, archaic thinking still exists among any of my officers, it highlights for me the need to continue to train my officers and sensitize them to the reality of victimization,” Chief Bill Blair said.
“(The comments) place the blame upon victims, and that’s not where the blame should ever be placed.”
Satellite walks are also planned for Ottawa, Vancouver, Boston and other North American cities.
SlutWalk Toronto participants met at Queen’s Park around 1:30 p.m., then marched to Toronto police headquarters at 40 College St.
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