Samantha Reed/The Intelligencer Slut Walk organizer Caitlin Sextun holds a promotional poster for this year's Slut Walk, while fellow organizer Elissa Robertson stands in the background. This year's walk kicks off on Jun. 25 and raises awareness about victim blaming.

Victims should never be blamed. This is the message organizers of Belleville’s Slut Walk are trying to convey. “Women are being blamed for sexual assaults because of what they’re wearing or where they are and what they’re drinking. That is not okay,” said Elissa Robertson, a Slut Walk organizer. Victim blaming has become so normalized that it needs to be addressed, so the goal of the walk is to open up a dialogue about victim blaming to the community, said Robertson.

“We want survivors to feel comfortable coming forward with their stories without fear of being shamed, blamed or facing further victimization,” she said. The Slut Walk started in Toronto in 2011 as a response to a Toronto police officer who said ‘women should avoid dressing like sluts if they don’t want to be victimized.’ The movement came to the area in 2013 with Belleville’s first Slut Walk