March to End Rape Culture

Posted by March to End Rape Culture on September 5, 2016


WHEN: Saturday, September 24, 2016 at 11:00 a.m.

WHERE: Thomas Paine Plaza (Across from Love Park) at 1401 JFK Blvd. Philadelphia, PA 19103.

WHAT: The March to End Rape Culture is an event raising awareness about rape culture and its effects across society. For the fifth year, this annual event will again be a monumental occasion for Philadelphians to learn about the widespread issues related to rape culture—a culture where sexual violence is accepted as a part of everyday life—and what is being done to end it. It is a supportive and empowering place for survivors of rape and abuse across all backgrounds to speak out and be heard, and a place for survivors and their advocates to connect with a wide variety of local activists and resource groups.

Formerly known as “Slutwalk,” the event has been rebranded as the March to End Rape Culture to be more inclusive and appeal to a wider audience. This wider focus has attracted more partner organizations, survivors, and supporters than ever before to come speak, listen and march.

EVENT DETAILS: The event begins at 11AM in Thomas Paine Plaza with introductory speakers and music by Wassup Gina! At noon, attendees will start their march through Center City passing by City Hall en route to Rittenhouse Square, then down Locust St. and ending back in Thomas Paine Plaza. Participants are encouraged to bring posters with positive and educational messages such as “My Body, My Choice” to enlighten and engage bystanders about the effects of rape culture on society. Chant leaders will rally participants with mantras spreading the message that rape culture (including victim blaming, street harassment, homophobia, transphobia, rigid gender roles, and the objectification of women in media) is unacceptable.

This event is a safe space for survivors and inclusive of all genders, sexual orientations, abilities, ages and races. Therapists will be on site to assist anyone triggered during the event.

The march will begin and conclude with speakers who will present their perspectives on topics including their experiences and insights on rape culture, how it affects their communities, what they’re doing about it, and what listeners can do to help. Speakers include: Ronald Savage (Ronald Savage Survivor Network), Tationnah Carter (Morris Home), Sethe Lamming and Kay Cohen (Philly Survivor Support Network), Aisha Mohammed (Sex Workers Outreach Project, Philadelphia), Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware, Camille Townsend-Turner (Chrysalis), Philly Youth Poetry Movement, Rodawn Divebliss, Amanda Spitfire (Take Back the Night), and Grace Delaney (March to End Rape Culture Organizers). Speeches will be interpreted in ASL. Local performers will be entertaining the crowd before and after the march and speeches.

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PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS: Women in Transition (WIT), Women’s Law Project, Drexel University Students Advocating Feminism & Equality (SAFE), Feminist Public Works, Lutheran Settlement House, Progressive NAACP Temple Division, PAVE Philly, Pussy Division, Philadelphia National Organization for Women (NOW), Philly Socialists, Philly Queer Brunch, Permanent Wave Philly, Project Safe, Wooden Shoe Books, Sex Worker’s Outreach Project (SWOP-USA), Take Back the Night Philly (TBTN Philly), Therapy Center of Philadelphia, VOICE, Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR), Women’s Way, West Philly Food Not Bombs, The Attic Youth Center, Philly Survivor Support Collective, Women Against Abuse (WAA), Fireball Printing, and the Mazzoni Center.

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO GET INVOLVED: Rape culture is a culture in which sexual violence is accepted as a part of everyday life. Its symptoms include victim blaming, rape jokes, micro aggressions, slut shaming, silencing and skepticism towards survivors, sexual objectification, the sexualization of violence, the lack of education around consent, child sexual abuse and intimate partner violence. The effects are toxic to everyone, including those who benefit from systemic bias.

While these symptoms are alone challenging to address, people often experience them in intersection with other obstacles surrounding race, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation and gender. Not only do these marginalized voices deserve to be heard, they also demonstrate incredible perseverance, strength and insights which serve to benefit everyone in their own struggles.

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