Protestors march against sexual violence. Jaffa Street, Jerusalem 2018..
(photo credit: MOOLI GOLDBERG)
The SlutWalk, a protest march designed to bring awareness to sexual violence against women, will take place in the capital on Friday for the eighth year running.
The grassroots march is slated to kick off at 10 a.m. from Davidka Square, head east on Jaffa Road, and end with a public discussion at Hataklit Bar on Heleni Hamalka Street.
“Our slogan this year is ‘Constant Emergency Alert,’” said Anna Kleiman, who has organized the march for the past three years and participated since its inception. “The judicial system is not capable of understanding the situation,” she told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday. “It’s not capable of giving justice to women, and this is why I protest for so many years,” she added. “Because it’s just unbearable to think that I’m just available for men to rape me and nobody will give a damn about it – not the police, not the prosecutors. It’s really alarming and depressing and frightening.”
Kleiman said that they are hoping and planning for some 1,000 people to take part in the march, despite the extreme heatwave anticipated on Friday.
Kleiman said she took part as a participant in the first Slutwalk in Jerusalem when she was 17, the same year that she was raped by a classmate.
“I couldn’t talk about it for four years, but I still participated [in the march],” she said. “I felt really connected to the SlutWalk without acknowledging that I was raped.”
Only several years later, Kleiman was able to talk about her experience, and filed a report with the police.
“My case was closed in two months, and they didn’t even call me,” she said. “I realized then how much the institutions are not helping. They are not here to protect us. The police, the prosecutors... Nobody there understands what this crime is about. It’s not about what the man did. It’s about what the women experienced. It’s about what was done to the woman.”
Kleiman said she hears “way too much” from friends with similar stories; who were raped and pressed charges only to have their cases dismissed in a peremptory manner. The SlutWalk, she said, provides a place for victims of sexual violence to be heard and listened to and understood.
“It’s a place where you can actually be empowered, and listen and hear other women being extremely mad,” she said. “You’re protesting the things that have happened to you, and the things that have happened to people around you that you don’t really know - but you understand.”
The feeling among the participants, Kleiman said, “is that you’re not alone. They’re not crying and hugging. They’re mad and angry.”
And while the march is designed to bring awareness and to protest the treatment of victims, its primary focus is on the marchers themselves.
“Our first and primary focus in the SlutWalk is on the experience of the participants,” Kleiman said. “It’s not a protest that will end in front of an institution or in a big square in front of the police station... It’s really about empowering the participants that they can actually exist as they are, no matter what they wear, no matter what they act like - nothing. That they can still feel secure in the streets of Jerusalem.”
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>