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The Walk of No Shame is supposed to be a protest against the dismissal and silencing of victims of sexual assault. (Hillary Reilly)

In downtown Salt Lake City, The Walk of No Shame, a march toward the state capitol in protest of the lack of justice for victims of sexual assault took over the streets on Sep. 22.

During 2017, the #MeToo movement brought together the previously-silent voices of those who suffered from sexual misconduct, sexual assault and rape in various high-profile cases.

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Vicitims of sexual assault and rape are often silenced about their experiences. (Hillary Reilly)

The coverage of these cases led to an explosion of empowerment for victims in almost every industry, giving many the courage to speak out against their abusers.

The march brought hundreds of Utahns together to fight against these degrading and sometimes life-threatening situations.

Before the success of the #MeToo movement, talking about cases of sexual assault and rape were taboo, as mentioned by keynote speaker Collin Williams.

As a survivor of sexual abuse when he was a child, he shared his support for victims and explained why it was important to speak out about cases when they happen.

“When we tell people, ‘don’t talk about the way you feel,’ that’s wrong,” Williams said. “That could possibly silence them and silence their voice.”

Williams stressed the importance of giving victims a voice and platform to speak. By eliminating the taboo around the subject, light can be shed on the subject and help end the epidemic, according to Williams.

Of course, coming forward can be difficult because in a great deal of sexual assault cases, people in power use their position to exploit their victims.

Paris Warner, a local Utah actress, spoke out about her abuse. When she was abused while working, she told her modeling agency, hoping they would help her. She let the agency know she was molested and no longer felt comfortable working with her abuser.

Warner risked her career only for her agency to say she wasn’t raped and the event didn’t happen. The agency continued to represent the perpetrator until more girls spoke out.

The March of No Shame, also known as SLUTWALK, got its global start in 2011. Salt Lake City’s director, Rachel Jensen, has helped organize the event for several years.

“I was ready to start giving a platform to other people and start really helping and supporting the community,” Jensen said.

Jensen is a survivor of sexual assault. She also has family members and friends who are survivors. She speaks about her assault because she wants other survivors to know they are not alone. She hopes if the community can come together, those who blame victims will be silenced.

“There is a lot more hope out there and a lot more healing than I think a lot of people initially believe,” Jensen said.

Victims often feel uncomfortable or afraid to come forward and tell their stories. Accusers can face physical and verbal retribution, among other consequences. Legally, odds favor the accused.

There are resources available for survivors. The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have given a voice to victims. Jensen stressed nobody is alone and victims will be given support.

“It is a long process for some for recovery, but recovery is possible,” Jensen said.In downtown Salt Lake City, The Walk of No Shame, a march toward the state capitol in protest of the lack of justice for victims of sexual assault took over the streets on Sep. 22.

During 2017, the #MeToo movement brought together the previously-silent voices of those who suffered from sexual misconduct, sexual assault and rape in various high-profile cases.

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