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First SlutWalk in Romania against sexual violence

October 07, 2011

A girl holds a banner that reads in “Raped does not equal Guilty” in Bucharest, October 6, 2011, during the Romanian version of the Slut Walk march. — Photo by AP

BUCHAREST: Some two hundred persons, young women for the most part, joined Romania's first SlutWalk on Thursday, calling for an end to sexual violence.

“We are here on behalf of all women who are afraid to report sexual assaults,” Anna Popescu, 43, told AFP, stressing she was herself a rape victim.

The marchers, some of them wearing mini skirts, others concealing their bodies in large bags, carried banners reading “No always means no” or “Blame the assailant not the victim”.

“We are living in a society where authorities tell women they should protect themselves,” a young girl said.

“The assailants most often get away scot-free while the victims are humiliated by the police,” said another.

The participants marched along one of Bucharest's main boulevards chanting “We are not flattered when we are assaulted”.

“This is the first march of this kind in Romania. We have received a lot of support and plan to do more to raise public awareness,” one of the organisers, Mihaela Chiribuc, said.

SlutWalks have so far been held in dozens of cities around the world, including Toronto, Canada; Auckland and Wellington in New Zealand; New Delhi, Philadelphia, Seoul, Sydney, Washington, Paris and Berlin.