SLUTWALK Melbourne is raising funds for its annual march and for charities with a weekend entertainment extravaganza.

On Sunday August 6 Slutfest 2017 will feature music, art, food, and the always fabulous nail bar.

Local musical guests will include The Second Sex, Emah Fox, The Girl Fridas and more.

SlutWalk is a movement that began in Toronto in 2011, after the police department advised women not to “dress like sluts” to avoid rape.

The marches now occur in cities worldwide each year, calling for an end to slut-shaming, victim-blaming and rape culture.

SlutWalk Melbourne organiser Tiara said many people involved in the movement are from the LGBTI community.

“Rape culture is not foreign to the LGBTI community,” she said.

“LGBTI people have been subjected to as many kinds of sexual assault as cis heterosexual people, sometimes even within their own community.”

Tiara sees slut-shaming as a problem within the community.

“LGBTI people are not free from being judgemental about people’s sexual expression or identity,” she said.

“There’s a lot of respectability politics being thrown around—don’t act too queer or flamboyant [for example].”

In speaking out against slut-shaming and victim-blaming, SlutWalk calls for an end to blaming those who are sexually assaulted.

“The whole point of SlutWalk is the idea of a ‘good survivor’ or ‘innocent survivor’ is bunk,” said Tiara.

“Even if you were assaulted in a highly sexualised space, that doesn’t mean the assault was warranted or ‘expected’”.

Tiara said that resources are lacking for people who have been sexually assaulted by someone of the same sex.

“It’s sort of assumed that it ‘can’t happen’, especially if the assailant is female and/or the victim is male,” she said.

The organisers hope that this year’s SlutWalk will remind people of these issues that the community—including the LGBTI community—must address.

“Slut-shaming and sexual violence are not solved problems by any means,” said Tiara.

“I would like this SlutWalk to keep those issues fresh in people’s minds as well as spark more work and activism that builds on what we’ve learned in the past six years while also adapting for the future.

“Keep on doing this work beyond a rally or a party!”

Slutfest 2017 will be at Bella Union in Carlton from 3 pm on Sunday August 6. For enquires about the Slutfest fundraiser or the Melbourne SlutWalk event, contact Lisa Dib.

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