Walk Brings Attention To Violence Against Women

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LINCOLN, Neb.-- If you drove by the Capitol Saturday or headed downtown in the afternoon, you might have seen signs saying things like "sexism is a social disease." It was all part of a walk the organizers call the 'slut walk' aimed to end victim-shaming for people who have experienced sexual or domestic violence.

"This person was walking and this person assaulted them. If you take away the rest of the context it's very clear who did wrong," said Heidi Thompson, who joined in the walk.

But speakers pointed out that context matters in the world we live in. Things like the clothes women wear, if they've been drinking or walking somewhere alone become part of the conversation. That's what this walk aims to change.

"We actually need to blame the perpetrators versus the victim," said Claire Baweja, the walk's organizer.

And it's not just women fighting for change. Men have a stake in the issue as well- with NFL players like Ray Rice setting a high-profile example.

"There's a definite image of masculinity there and I think that's almost the root of the problem," said Slade Lane, a Union College student.

So, Lane joined the walk to support women who have- and the one in three that will- experience some sort of sexual violence.

"That's not me- I would never do that," said Lane.

Baweja said those high-profile cases give local groups like this one the chance to send a message about violence and continue the conversation.

The walk's organizers are taking their message to social media using hashtags like #activism, #yesallwomen, #whyIstayed #whyIleft hoping to get more people talking.



 
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