Peaceful protest

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Protest organiser Anjum Rahman
Protest organiser Anjum Rahman

A protest will be held in Hamilton tomorrow as part of a national day of "action against rape culture".

Protests will be held in cities across the country, including Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Palmerston North.

Organiser of the Hamilton protest Anjum Rahman said the issues of sexual abuse and violence in New Zealand had been highlighted by the Roast Busters case.

"There has been widespread outrage and condemnation over the actions of young men who then bragged about it on the internet," she said.

"The incident has highlighted an ugly side of our culture where sexual violence is trivialised, excuses are made for rapists and focus is placed on the victim. The questioning of an underage rape victim by radio commentators was a perfect example of this culture."

Protesters will call on the Government to take further action. "In 2009, the Taskforce on Sexual Violence released a comprehensive report with recommendations for changes to the justice system. Little action has been taken to implement these recommendations.

Current inadequate funding for sexual violence support services must also be increased."

The Hamilton protest has been named the "Campaign for Consent", based on the notion that consent must be active and enthusiastic. "A woman's clothing, her sexual history, or her level of intoxication does not constitute consent for sex."

The protest begins at Garden Place tomorrow at 7.30pm. People are asked to bring a candle or torch, and placards. There will be a larger banner that people can write messages on related to consent. At 8pm, there will be a silent march from Garden Place to the Police station on Bridge St, where the banner will be handed over to police.

- Hamilton News

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