Sexual Violence: A Global Pandemic / 21st-27th October


         Sexual Violence: A Global Pandemic

Written by Nikunj Morarka
Policy and Legal Team

Sexual violence is a global pandemic. One in three women experience 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 sensitisation 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 21st to 27th October 2017.


Ellen DeGeneres harasses Katy Perry?

Ellen DeGeneres posted a picture on Twitter of her staring at Katy Perry’s cleavage and wrote “It’s time to bring out the big balloons!” This has raised questions of sexual harassment since Ellen is a lesbian and a very powerful figure in the media industry. Katy Perry hasn’t said anything about Ellen’s Twitter post yet. Most of the criticism comes from the right who are claiming that if a man had done what Ellen did everyone would have called it sexual harassment.

Mark Halperin accused of harassment

Mark Halperin, a regular at MSNBC and the author of the book Game Change about the 2008 US presidential election has been accused of sexual harassment by five women who worked with him, when he worked for ABC News. They have alleged that he would grope them without permission, forcible kiss them and press his erect penis against their body. Halperin has accepted that he had relations with his juniors but has denied groping charges. He has left MSNBC and a TV show based on his book which was in development by HBO has been cancelled.

32 Million Dollar settlement

It has now been revealed that Bill O’Reilly settled a sexual harassment case by a Fox News employee personally by agreeing to pay her 32 million dollars. This is one of the largest known amounts ever paid to settle a sexual harassment claim. Fox News had renewed a 25 million dollars a year contract with Bill after this claim was settled, Fox claims it did know about the claim but that it was unaware of the amount. The fact that Fox continued to back Bill O’Reilly until his sexual harassment charges became a media sensation and led to an advertiser boycott raises serious questions about its credibility.

List of Indian Academics who committed sexual harassment

A list containing the names of 60 Indian academics has gone viral, it is claimed the people on the list have sexually harassed women. The list has been created by Raya Sarkar, who describes herself as an “attorney interested in prisoner’s rights, reproductive rights, and anti-caste jurisprudence.” As of 25 October, this list included more than 10 professors from Jadavpur University, nine from Delhi University and two from JNU. It also has names from Christ University, Ambedkar University Delhi and the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute.

Apart from Koushik Roy, Bidyut Chakraborty, Nilanjan Dutta, RC Natarajan, Shyamal Sengupta, Mridul Bose, and BN Ray, Firstpost in it’s investigation, has not been able to independently verify whether a complaint has been filed, registered, or any charges have been filed against the rest of the academicians whose names have been included in this list.

One of the people on the list spoke to Firstpost on the condition of anonymity. “My name was dropped and then added again. When I reached out to her, I was blocked. If she believes in freedom of speech, why isn’t she telling me what I’ve done? I am feeling like a victim,” he said.


Assault in broad daylight

A man sexually assaulted a women in Visakhapatnam in broad daylight on the pavement and no one tried to stop him. One autorickshaw driver recorded a video of the incident and someone else called the police but by the time the police arrived the accused had fled but he has since been arrested based on the recorded video. The accused is an alcoholic and drug addict who has committed crimes before as well.


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