Last Saturday, anyone in downtown Grand Rapids likely heard chanters crying: “However we dress, wherever we go, yes means yes, and no means no!” The crowd had gathered for “SlutWalk Grand Rapids,” an event organized by the National Organization for Women of Greater Grand Rapids encouraging others to stop blaming victims of sexual assault based on how they dress.
Top criminal attorneys know that many people have misconceptions about who is to blame in sex crime cases–particularly if a female victim is dressed in skimpy clothing. “Men can walk around in their shorts with no shirt on and no one thinks a thing about it,” explained Ionia resident Corinn Fuller, 22. “Women, if they wear a sports bra to go jogging they’re victimized. I’ve been in groups of people and they see people walking by and say ‘oh, they’re dressed like a slut, they must be asking for it…”
However, statistics show that dressing a certain way does not necessarily safeguard against rape and sexual assault. In the United States alone, one in every six women have been raped or the victim of attempted rape–in fact, sexual assault is so common that someone is victimized every 45 seconds. It is highly unlikely that in every rape or sexual assault the way the person was dressed was a fundamental factor. Rockford resident Clara Rouse, 22, has similar sentiments. “It’s not you personally that causes whatever happens,” she relayed. “If someone’s going to rape you, they’re going to rape you regardless if you’re dressed like this or if you’re in a baggy T-shirt and shorts.”
Regardless of whether one is a top criminal lawyer or not, this is an important issue that applies to everyone. All women have a right to decide how they want to dress without a fear of rape or sexual assault. It is very commendable that so many Michigan residents gathered to support a great cause and raise sex crime awareness. When we work together to eliminate the public stigma and bias, we allow the legal system to function as it is intended – - in the best interest of all citizens.