About 300 Edmontonians marched through the city for the fourth annual ‘Slut Walk’ on Saturday afternoon with the aim of spreading a simple message: there is nothing a person can do to deserve sexual violence.

Organizer Danielle Paradis said the event raises awareness about shifting the focus away from the victims of sexual assault, and back to the perpetrators.

“Pretty much everybody in life is touched by sexual assault and we need a space to be able to speak about that,” she said. “I’ve heard a lot from survivors. This is a very healing process for us.”

Junetta Jamerson, an anti-racism advocate in Edmonton, was on hand to speak to the many participants. As she mingled with the crowd, she said she found a common purpose among many of the people in attendance.

“It is a way for victims to reclaim their power,” she said. “It’s about removing the shame. The shame of what? Of rape, of sexual assault, of harassment. Women are actually telling me they are finding their voices around this.”

Men are finding their voices as well. One man, Adrian Friesen, said he had difficulties coming to terms with the sexual assault that occurred in his life.

But with the help of his family and friends — one of whom helped organize the event —  he says he has come to terms with the fact that what happened wasn’t his fault.

“You never get over it," he said. "You just learn to cope every day.”

The event was first launched in Toronto in 2011 after a police officer told a group of students that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.”

He apologized for making the comments, but had already ignited a global movement.

Similar marches are held annually in countries around the world.