Walking for women

POWERFUL MESSAGE: Nicolle Gill (front) with (back from left) Lily Smith, Trish Passaniti, Nicqui Yazdi, Kate Reed and Lisa Apostolides, prepare for the SlutWalk in Byron Bay on June 23.
POWERFUL MESSAGE: Nicolle Gill (front) with (back from left) Lily Smith, Trish Passaniti, Nicqui Yazdi, Kate Reed and Lisa Apostolides, prepare for the SlutWalk in Byron Bay on June 23. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

BYRON Bay's first SlutWalk will be held on June 23.

SlutWalk is a protest against explaining or excusing rape by referring to any aspect of a woman's appearance.

During the past 16 months, SlutWalks have taken place in almost every country in the world, from Africa to India.

One of the organisers of the event, which includes social and youth workers, Nicqui Yazdi, said a SlutWalk for Byron Bay was first proposed in 2011, but it proved controversial and divisive.

"With the wide publicity received all over the world about SlutWalks since last year, people are now more familiar and less threatened by the word slut, or being aligned to an event that carries that name," she said.

"Sexual violence is not just a women's issue, it is an issue for everyone.

"We invite and welcome women, men and young people to be a part of the walk and help to create awareness of these problems."

People joining the walk are asked wear colours of white, red and black.

"We hope that this will create a sense of solidarity and also a strong visual effect," Nicqui said.

The Byron SlutWalk will start from Railway Park at midday, walking to Main Beach Park, where they will stop for a photograph from a helicopter, then continue to the Byron Youth Activities Centre for SlutFest - an afternoon of entertainment, inspirational speakers, information stalls and a forum hosted by Mandy Nolan.

For more information contact Nicqui on 0402 013 177 or email nicquiyazdi@yahoo.com.au.



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