mi-300-slut-walk-cbc

Participants in Sunday's Slut Walk marched from Queen's Park to Toronto police headquarters. ((Ivy Cuervo/CBC))

A group of Toronto marchers took to the streets Sunday afternoon in what they’re calling a "slut walk" in response to controversial comments made by a police constable earlier this year.

In January, Toronto Police Const. Michael Sanguinetti told a personal security class at York University that "women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized."

Sanguinetti apologized for his comments, but his apology failed to satisfy walk organizer Sonya Barnett. 

"It was evident that if you're going to have a representative of the police force come out [and say that] then that kind of idea must be still running rampant within the force itself and that retraining really needs to happen to change that mentality," she said.

A statement on the event's website  says: "Toronto Police have perpetuated the myth and stereotype of the slut, and in doing so have failed us."

Barnett said she wants to use the walk to reclaim the word and also demand that victim-shaming change.

The walk kicked off with a series of speeches at Queen’s Park at 1:30 p.m. ET. The walkers then marched to Toronto Police Headquarters on College Street.

When the story first broke in January, Toronto police Chief Bill Blair said Sanguinetti's comments highlight a "training issue" in the force.

"If that type of, frankly, archaic thinking still exists among any of my officers, it highlights for me the need to continue to train my officers and sensitize them to the reality of victimization," he said.

The comments attributed to the officer "place the blame upon victims, and that's not where the blame should ever be placed," Blair said.