Missoula "SlutWalk" empowers victims of sexual violence

Posted on 15 April 2012


Posted: Apr 14, 2012 10:20 PM by Alex Schwier (KPAX News)
Updated: Apr 14, 2012 11:19 PM

Missoula “SlutWalk” empowers victims of sexual violence

MISSOULA- High heels and short skirts made a huge statement in Missoula Saturday. Many Missoulians stood tall in the solidarity of supporting victims of sexual assault.

The weather warms to summer temperatures but Missoula women are breaking out the shorts skirts for more than the sunny skies.

“I chose to wear this because I wanted to wear it and just because I wanted to wear it doesn’t mean that I’m a slut or I put out. It’s just what I wanted to wear and what I chose to wear,” said slutwalker Samantha Arcand.

Sexual assault has been a hot topic on the University of Montana campus this year and the slut walk from campus to the courthouse shows support for those victims.

“We can reclaim the streets, we can reclaim the word slut and we can the ability to dress however we want and walk wherever we want,” said Devin Carpenter of the Student Involvement Network on UM campus.

The name “Slutwalk” comes from an event last year in Toronto—where the community fought against a police officer who said a woman’s provocative clothing caused her to be sexually assaulted.

“It makes me very angry, what you wear has no bearing on what you are willing to allow to happen,” said slutwalker Kiara Drake.

Drake said victim blaming goes far beyond a one-time comment in Toronto.

“I think it’s something that tends to be ignored and tried to be explained far too often,” said Drake.

And now, the issue hits home.

“Especially with everything going on around campus right now with all the rape charges and the football team and it’s not just them. It just needs to be brought to attention,” said Arcand.

3 speakers and informational booths greeted the participants when they made it to the courthouse.

But participants at Saturday’s event weren’t as much angry as they were supportive.

“There are a lot of people that don’t even know them that care and the campus cares”

Participants hope their walk—and powerful statement—will bring an end to victim blaming.