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1,000 participate in New Zealand SlutWalk

Nearly 1,000 people, many of them scantily clad women, joined New Zealand's 'SlutWalk; marches on Saturday, protesting that victims were not responsible for rape.

world Updated: Jun 25, 2011 13:31 IST

Nearly 1,000 people, many of them scantily clad women, joined New Zealand's 'SlutWalk' marches on Saturday, protesting that victims were not responsible for rape.

About 500 marched through the streets of Wellington and more than 400 in Auckland carrying signs that read "Real men take no for an answer" and "A kiss does not equal consent", reports said.

The 'SlutWalk phenomenon, which has spread around the world, was sparked by a Toronto police officer saying women could avoid being raped by not dressing like "sluts".

Wellington organiser Maria-Jane Scannell said the same attitude existed in New Zealand and it placed the blame on the victim rather than the rapist. "We're all here because we agree that rape and sexual assault are never the fault of the victim," she yelled through a megaphone.

Natalie Thorburn, 21, told Fairfax Media she joined the walk because she wanted to change the culture of blame.

"We want to make a statement to say we can wear whatever we want," she said. In Auckland, the crowd marched through the central city chanting: "Yes means yes, no means no, whatever we do, wherever we go." Rape survivor advocate Louise Nicholas said young girls going out late at night did not deserve to be raped.

"Nobody ever deserves to be subjected to such a heinous crime and that's exactly what rape is," she said.