The March to End Victim Blaming, an annual rally at the University of Connecticut organized by the student group Revolution Against Rape (RAR), will make its way around campus today.
“This event is meant to bring awareness to the issue of rape culture on college campuses in a very loud way,” RAR secretary Skyler Trice said. “It’s very in your face. We’re marching around campus with signs and it’s just to bring as much attention as possible.”
Trice said RAR has been planning the event, which will include a march, guest speakers and a speak-out session, since July.
Allison Occhialini, a representative from the Sexual Assault Crisis Center of Eastern Connecticut, and Rachel Stewart, a former UConn student and co-founder of RAR, will be the event’s keynote speakers, Trice said.
In a change from previous years, RAR decided to drop the phrase “SlutWalk” from the march’s name, Trice said.
Trice said the purpose of including “SlutWalk” in the event’s title was to allow women to reclaim the word “slut” in a positive way, but they decided to forgo it this year in order to make the event more inclusive.
“We got rid of ‘SlutWalk’ because we felt like there were a lot of communities who may have a hard time reclaiming the word ‘slut.’ Particularly women of color and other ethnic minorities,” Trice said. “We also think ‘March to End Victim Blaming’ is more what the march is about.”
The term “SlutWalk” also confused some people by giving the impression that they had to dress a certain way for the event, Trice said.
The march is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. on Fairfield Way and the speak-out, where students can tell their own stories to the crowd, is expected to continue until about 6 p.m., Trice said.
Trice said the event will end with a discussion and debrief in the Student Union where students can discuss themes brought up during the speak-out.
Trice said everyone is welcome at the event.
“This is an issue for everyone,” Trice said, “not just for women.”
Charlie Smart is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.