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Indian women protest sexual violence in Delhi's first SlutWalk

O'Dea/Open access

Hundreds of Indians took to the streets of New Delhi for India's first “SlutWalk" on Sunday in protest at a rise in sexual assault cases and the growing sense of insecurity among women.

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SlutWalks, an international trend in protest against sexual violence, see women march dressed in skimpy clothing to challenge the idea that sexual assault is the responsibility of the victim.

But most of the women participating in the protest in New Delhi chose to wear loose T-shirts and trousers.

"We did not want to unnecessarily dress up in something we are not comfortable in. In any case, no matter what a girl wears, salwar kameez or jeans, she is teased or assaulted," student Archie Sharma told the Times of India.

And, after criticism that the title of the march was provocative, the organisers added the Hindi term Besharmi Morcha (shameless front) to the title.

A 2010 survey found that 85 per cent of Delhi women feared being harassed, and many of those at Sunday's march said being groped or molested was an almost daily occurrence.

New Delhi now is now the most unsafe city in India for women, with 489 reported rape cases in 2010, up from 459 in 2009, according to police statistics.

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