Sexual Violence: A Global Pandemic

Safecity- Elsa D'Silva
Posted December 26, 2017 from India

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 16th December to 22nd December, 2017.

10 Million Dollar Case against Weinstein

A former associate producer on the tv showMarco Polohas filed a 10 million dollar sexual harassment case against Harvey Weinstein and the Weinstein Company. “The foregoing events and actions of Harvey Weinstein took place in conjunction with Plaintiff’s employment, in various capacities, for Harvey Weinstein and The Weinstein Company,” lawyers for the former AP said. “Over the course of his misconduct, up to September 2017, Harvey Weinstein threatened Plaintiff and made it clear that if she did not succumb to his demands or if she exposed his unwanted conduct there would be retaliation, including humiliation, the loss of her job and any ability to work in the entertainment business,” they also declared.

Ford CEO apologises for sexual harassment culture

This Thursday,Ford CEOissued a public apology statement: “I am sorry for any instance where a colleague was subjected to harassment or discriminatory conduct. On behalf of myself and the employees of Ford Motor Company, who condemn such behavior and regret any harassment as much as I do, I apologize. More importantly, I promise that we will learn from this and we will do better.” The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had made Ford pay 10 million dollars in August to settle racial and sexual harassment charges. Another such case is ongoing in the courts.

Matt Damon’s insensitive statements

Matt Damonhas been accused of trivialising sexual harassment, in the past week in an interview to promote his new movie he said, “We’re in this watershed moment, and it’s great, but I think one thing that’s not being talked about is… the preponderance of men I’ve worked with who don’t do this kind of thing.”

There’s a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right?” Damon told ABC’S ‘Popcorn’ with Peter Travers. He also said that sexual harassment accusations need to be dealt on a case by case basis, drawing criticism from activists who believe we need to believe women accusers.

Sexual harassment statistics for India

As many as1,971cases of sexual harassment of women at workplace were registered in four years till 12 December, 2017 according to the reply of Dr. Virendra Kumar to the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament) on 15 December, 2017. Cases reported increased by 45 percent from 371 in 2014 to 539 in 2017 (till 12 December, 2017)

5 men rape a 20 year old girl

A20-year-old womanwas allegedly gang-raped by five men suspected to be juveniles near a municipal garbage dump in Jahangirpuri on Wednesday night. The survivor lodged a complaint at Jahangirpuri police station on Thursday afternoon.

In her statement, the survivor told police that she bumped into the youths near the garbage dump around 10pm. The youths took her to a desolate spot behind the MCD apartments nearby and raped her in turns. They threatened to kill her if she shouted for help or mentioned the incident to anyone. The police has started the investigation and the suspects have been detained.

Connect with us?In case you like this new series, hate it, or think there are stories that we should be covering but have missed out on, please email us at vanditamorarka@gmail.com. We look forward to your inputs and feedback!

(This article was first published on Safecity. Written by Nikunj Morarka, part of Safecity's Writer's Movement is inPolicy and Legal Team).

Comments 9

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jlanghus
Dec 26, 2017
Dec 26, 2017

Hi Safecity. Thanks for sharing the first article in this new, news series. It's good to be aware, even if it is dismal. I think information can be powerful.

Safecity- Elsa D'Silva
Jan 05, 2018
Jan 05, 2018

Thank you for reading our newswrap. Knowledge will lead us to empowerment. 

jlanghus
Jan 05, 2018
Jan 05, 2018

You're welcome:) Too true...

Nusrat Ara
Dec 28, 2017
Dec 28, 2017

I think this is a good effort. The abuse and silence is unbelievable. We need as many voices as we can to get heard and get going to bring in some change. 

Safecity- Elsa D'Silva
Jan 05, 2018
Jan 05, 2018

Thank you Nusrat. We will try to raise our voice as loud as possible and hope for change.

Tamarack Verrall
Dec 29, 2017
Dec 29, 2017

Dear Safecity, 

Thanks for documenting and sending out this information. I believe that we need to keep the detailed reality of what has been done and where forefront in the news, so that we can all easily access the information and not allow any of it to be lost or buried. Your work helps this happen. I hope that the young woman who has survived such brutal rapes is recovering and will get justice.

In sisterhood,

Tam

Safecity- Elsa D'Silva
Jan 05, 2018
Jan 05, 2018

Thank you for the encouragement Tam. 

Carolyn Seaman
Jan 01, 2018
Jan 01, 2018

Dear Safecity,

Thank you for this very timely article which sheds light on a burning issue that is still so lightly addressed globally. Nigeria also shares very alarming indices of gender-based violence and the impunity in the society leaves women hurting in silence for fear of being doubly raped or abused by the justice and law enforcement system that remains slow to effectively guarantee justice for victims. Sadly, the culture of silence keeps perpetuating from generation to generation and we now have gender-based violence turned into this monster that is destroying the future of our nation.

We are teaching girls and women to speak out and also working to ensure that the justice and law enforcement systems also update their reporting and prosecution system so that victims get justice and are better encouraged to report cases and pursue justice. It's still a long journey for Nigeria but we are taking baby steps we hope will grow into significant impact tomorrow.

Once again, thank you for writing and helping to document this. Your article is truly valuable!

Thank you.

Safecity- Elsa D'Silva
Jan 05, 2018
Jan 05, 2018

Thank you for sharing your thoughts Carolyn. All the best for your future endeavours, we hope women all over the world find strength to fight for themselves.