'SlutWalk' Marches in Houston, Boston, Seattle

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on July 18, 2011 6:52 AM

SlutWalk.

The name may be a bit confusing, but the message is anything but:

Sexual assault is not the victim's fault--even if dressed like a slut.

Which is why hundreds of men and women, some dressed provocatively, will be bringing this message to the streets this summer in a series of SlutWalks across the nation.

SlutWalks began this past April after a Toronto Police officer told a group of university women that they "should avoid dressing like sluts in order to not be victimized," reports NPR.

Eschewing the notion that a victim is to blame for sexual assault, students organized a local SlutWalk, which has now sparked an international movement, with protests occurring in the United States, and as far as London.

Unfortunately, the officer's statement is nothing in comparison to how the U.S. legal system has come to embrace the notion that a woman is to blame for her own assault.

In sexual assault, harassment, and discrimination suits, it is incredibly common for defense attorneys to try and convince a jury that the victim is either crazy or promiscuous.

This is known as the "nuts and sluts" defense.

Because this defense is often quite successful, prosecutors, when faced with evidence that plays into these characterizations, will often decide not to pursue a case against an attacker.

Until the public, and therefore juries, stop blaming victims, this injustice will continue to mar our legal system.

So get out there this summer and raise awareness and participate in your local SlutWalk.

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