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USF organizations aim to raise sexual assault awareness with 'Slut Walk'

TAMPA — Students will have the chance to capitalize on the #MeToo Movement and continue to help spur the conversation surrounding assault at a "SlutWalk" from 2-5 p.m. on Monday at the University of South Florida.

SlutWalks, part of an international series of protest marches, call for the end of the rape culture, including victim blaming and slut shaming of sexual assault victims.

Campus organizations Safe HOME and the Social Work Society, have organized the USF event.

The organizers said in a media release that it's geared towards raising awareness about the sexual injustice and gender inequality impacting their educational experience at the university.

The free march will begin on campus at the Martin Luther King, Jr., Plaza and conclude with a speak out at the Marshall Student Center. A speak out is where actual survivors or proxies will read real stories of campus assault and harassment.

Costumes are encouraged to further promote the conversation regarding "appropriate dress."

"It does not matter who you are, what you were wearing, if you were drinking, if you had a previous sexual encounter with this person, or any other number of factors surrounding your assault, if the sexual advance was unwanted, it was rape or harassment," said organizer Kate Shrum of Safe HOME, a student-run organization created to ensure safe, equitable, and affordable housing opportunities.

"Victim blaming is one of the most common forms of subordination which allow for the perpetuation of these acts, which is why this march is so necessary."

Dolly Ferraiuolo with USF's Social Work Society, an organization that addresses human needs and social justice concerns, said the #MeToo movement could not have come at a better time.

"We need the conversation surrounding sexual assault and harassment to remain at the forefront of people's minds," Ferraiuolo said.

Learn more about the event and register to attend visit the Facebook page at goo.gl/YQypFR.

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