Inspired by the original SlutWalk, held in April 2011 in Toronto, and by the wave of SlutWalk events that have happened around the country, and indeed the world, we, the women of New Orleans, will hold our fourth annual march on Sunday, April 5, 2015.
SlutWalk was born as a protest, a protest from women who have long tired of the "blame the victim" mentality perpetuated by society, law enforcement, civic authorities, and even our own family and friends.
Sexual violence is always a crime, and the victims of assault are never at fault!
We welcome your thoughts, comments and questions. Contact Us
There has been a significant amount of attention regarding the treatment of victims of sexual assault in the news recently, from the billing of rape victims for their exams to egregiously bad investigative and reporting work of five detectives in the #NOPD Special Victims Unit. State economic policy has depleted already under-budgeted physical and mental health resources, leaving survivors with thousands of dollars in medical expenses. Rape Culture and victim-blaming shames those who dare report their assault. And the process of reporting an assault can, unfortunately, also be quite traumatic for a victim.
Through #SlutWalk New Orleans' involvement with the New Orleans Sexual Assault Response Team, we have been made aware of an existing void within the community that serves victims of sexual assault. This is the need for medical advocates. What does a medical advocate do? Shirley Young with Metropolitan Center for Women and Children explains it this way: They go to the hospital to support the survivor during the time she/he is in the hospital for the sexual assault forensic exam process. If the police are at the hospital, the advocate provides support for the victim/survivor, there in the hospital. The Medical Advocate also provides support for others who are with the victim/survivor, and offers free services and referrals to community resources.
Though there are many individuals working from agencies across the city, along with community organizations, health care providers, and law enforcement officials, to make sure that survivors of sexaul assault receive the respect, concern, and justice they deserve, an advocate can support the victim one-on-one by believing them, assisting them, respecting them and their choices, and not judging the victim, their actions, or their decisions.
There are two agencies in the city that train individuals to be advocates and coordinate advocate response when a victim reports to the hospital. Victims of sexual assault are encouraged to report to LSU Interim Forensic Exam Center at 2021 Perdido Street, which is where the local SANE program is housed.
If you are interested in becoming more involved, and would like to assist survivors of assault, please contact either agency listed below to begin the process.
Lastly, if you do end up becoming an advocate, please let us know. We'd love to be able to loosely track our efforts to facilitate community involvement. Thanks!
November 12, 2014
The Office of Inspector General for the City of New Orleans has issued Report of Inquiry into Documentation of Sex Crime Investigations by Five Detectives in the Special Victims Section of the New Orleans Police Department. The Investigations Division identifies detectives in the NOPD who failed to provide documentation of investigative effort and results or who provided questionable documentation in some of their investigations of sex crimes. Read the report ( 8 page PDF )