Sexual Violence: A Global Pandemic
Written by Vrishti Kapoor
Sexual violence is a global pandemic. One in three women experiences sexual or physical violence – most likely from their intimate partner, according to a report from the World Health Organization. There is an urgent need to increase sensitization regarding sexual violence and the awareness of consent and sexual violence amongst persons at large. In this series, we examine sexual violence and related issues that have come up in the news, on a weekly basis, published every Saturday. This is an attempt to improve awareness regarding incidents of sexual violence and related matters, so that we, as a society can take steps towards collective action to reduce its incidence. It is an effort to ensure that we acknowledge the rampant sexual violence that exists, lest we forget.
This issue looks at news from 23rd to 29th June 2018.
1) India ranked #1 among the nations most dangerous for women: UK survey
The Thomson Reuters Foundation surveyed 550 experts on the issues of women and found India to be the most dangerous country for women. Its first position is attributed to the following reasons: forced marriage, sexual slavery, sexual violence, forced labor, human trafficking for domestic work, physical abuse, acid attacks, and female genital mutilation. The survey reported the results to be coming as an impact of the #MeToo Movement as well as a 12 percent rise in the cases reported.
2) Case dismissal and Bystanders persuasion leads to victim’s suicide
A Chinese teenager, aged 19 years old, committed suicide, reacting to the dismissal of her sexual assault case and the provocation of the onlookers who encouraged her to jump off the eighth floor of a building. As per the police report, she was booed at by the bystanders, two of them arrested, and was subjected to verbal abuse through online posts. Earlier in September, 2016, she was sexually assaulted by a high school teacher, a sexual assault case which was cleared by the prosecutors despite her and her father’s repeated solicitation for help.
3) Massachusetts Governor’s son accused of sexual assault on flight
A woman aged 29-year old, accused the Massachusetts Governor’s son Andrew Baker for sexually assaulting her by groping her breasts on a JetBlue flight from Washington DC. She immediately reported the incident to the Massachusetts State police upon landing. The accused claimed to be sleeping during the entire flight. Finally, the Governor, Charlie Baker’s communications director has named it to be a personal matter of the family and readiness for further cooperation.
4) Attempting to end the virulent masculinity affected my career: Terry Crews
A 49-year old American actor and former football player, Terry Crews, initiated the end of toxic masculinity by narrating his experience of being a victim to sexual assault at the hands of a William Morris Endeavor agent and how raising a voice against it for it has cost him a movie. Although the agent was suspended and later demoted, the actor’s lawsuit against him faced dismissal and became the reason for the director of The Expendables 4 to not cast him for the movie.
5) Women Fight Back: Self Defence Training classes in Delhi
Led by the Delhi Police Department since the year 2002 and organized by Goonj, a Delhi-based NGO, are two-week self-defence training sessions to prepare women to fight. The demand for such classes has reportedly increased since the 2012 Delhi gang-rape case. The current session being conducted in a small South-Delhi apartment involves 45 female students, ranging from 28 to 50 years of age. As an act of defence, the students here learn how to effectively shout for help, inject power in arms, deliver a forceful punch, and break someone’s arm.
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