Mary “Unique” Spears had just left a relative’s funeral and arrived at the Joe Louis Post rental hall on Detroit’s east side to continue celebrating his life with other family members.

slutwalk01_lipsey_101515 According to the Huffington Post, Spears was stopped by a 38-year-old male who asked for her number. She refused, stating that she was in a relationship.

The man continued to harass Spears, 27 throughout the evening. When she attempted to leave the event, the man grabbed Spears and hit her.

Spears’ fiancée intervened and a fight ensued. The man pulled out a gun and shot Spears once. She tried to run and he shot her two more times in the head, killing her. Spears’ story is one of many examples of violence against women in the U.S.

Amber Rose’s Slut Walk in downtown LA’s Pershing Square on Oct. 3 was organized with the goal of combatting this type of sexual violence, victim blaming, derogatory labeling and gender inequality.

CNN reported that Rose has faced criticism for her event, ranging from those who feel she exposes herself too much, to those who feel that the event was simply for her own promotion.

However, Rose spoke to the attendees at the event to explain why she chose to put it on.

“It’s important for me because I deal with it every day,” she said. “I deal with it via social media, people out on the street. I feel like women deal with that constantly on a daily basis, and I’m sick of it.”

The PCC community is no stranger to issues of sexual violence and victim blaming. PCC student Shantel Rhode, who attended the Slut Walk, said that she’s been derided for how she dresses.

“I’m a woman. I get catcalled. I get shamed for being a big girl,” she said. “I should not be looked at disapprovingly because I’m showing my stomach. I should be respected for who I am.”

PCC Feminist Club President Julia Swart thinks that Slut Walks are “extremely valuable, especially on campus.”

“The word slut carries so much impact and I think it’s important to take that word back and empower women,” she said.

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PCC Dean of Student Life Rebecca Cobb stated that PCC offers on and off-campus referrals to offices or agencies that can assist students in coping with the aftermath of their experience.

“It is important for anyone subjected to sexual assault, harassment or sexual or gender-based misconduct to be heard and for us to assist in making sure the student feels supported,” Cobb said.

Based on the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act, the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization and Title IX, PCC offers workshops and events to educate and inform members of the campus community on a range of related issues, including sexual assault, harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, stalking and dating abuse.

Events include “Yes Means Yes” workshops covering the topic of affirmative consent, which convened Oct. 5 and Oct. 6 this year.

A panel discussion called “A Conversation on Domestic Violence” will be held Oct. 20 at noon in the Creveling Lounge. A healing art workshop is scheduled on Oct. 22 at noon in the Circadian for those who have experienced trauma and abuse.

“The goal of these events is to begin re-educating all campus populations on these issues in order to create a healthier and safer campus community and society overall,” Cobb said.

While these events are a step in the right direction, some students are skeptical of the messages being sent and say they still don’t feel comfortable with the processes in place to report sexual assault.

Feminist Club member Charlotte Swart questioned the victim blaming mentality that she sees on campus.

“I just thinks it’s sad that we’re putting all the responsibility on the victim saying that to not get raped they should be wearing more clothes and watching where they go at night,” she said. “Obviously you have to be safe but then again women have been getting raped since the beginning of time. Women who are completely covered are raped and still called sluts.”

In the PCC Police Department’s CLERY report, which regularly aggregates and reports crime statistics, they list tips to avoid assault such as, “Do not allow your date an opportunity to become physically or emotionally abusive toward you.”

How potential victims are expected to “not allow” assault is unclear.

PCC Queer Alliance member Suzanne Thompson has all but lost faith in the system to protect her or others after an experience where she supported someone who was raped by someone else on campus. Thompson said the experience led to her distrust of authority.

“I just think that people who are victims have such little support and then the people who claim they’re gonna be there and be support and know what to do, are often not that,” she said. “They’re gonna be on the side of the perpetrator or on the side of doubt.”

Thompson further explained that the channels that must be taken to get an incident officially documented are traumatizing for all, but especially for the queer community.

“If you go to the police you’re gonna be harassed so why would you wanna go in there and get harassed again after you’re traumatized from being abused or harassed or raped,” Thompson continued. “Then to just have your story questioned over and over again and have your whole character questioned for reporting it?”

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