-- Valdosta, Ga. -- April 26, 2012 --
More than 200,000 people fall victim to sexual assault every year in the country. That number comes from Rainin, the Rape, Assault, Incest, National Network.
To fight those numbers people all over the nation have participated in walks to end sexual violence. Eyewitness News reporter Eames Yates tells us about a walk called the SlutWalk that occurred in Valdosta.
It is part of a larger movement. The first Slutwalk was in April of 2011 in Canada. It was in response to a city police officer saying quote 'women should avoid dressing like sluts in order to not be victimized.
Since then the movement has spread around the world and now, Valdosta State University. The goal is to end sexual violence.
Organizers also want to end what they say is a tendency to blame or shame victims based on how their dressed.
One VSU student Danielle Lasick said "I think it's for a good cause. I don't think that a woman should be able to get raped just because of what she wears. I think men should have the power to control themselves."
The word 'slut' is also being put in the spotlight. It has caused some people on campus to become angry. Tracy Woodard Meyers, a sociology professor at VSU, said "It's been interesting on campus, this is of course the first year that we've done this. But we've gotten a lot of push back from it and people are irate that we're using this term. And I keep saying, you know, if people were to be this irate about people getting raped than we wouldn't have rape, you know in our society."
over 200 people showed up to the SlutWalk. The Governor's office says more than 60% of rapes and sexual assaults go unreported in Georgia.
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