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 12th to 18th August 2018.
1. Sleeves of the coat armed with electric shock for ‘Self-defence’
In order to protect themselves, four Mexico students developed a jacket that they claim could protect them from sex attackers. This self-defence tool is completely legal and does not pose a threat to life and thus, does not qualify as a weapon. The prototype, called Woman Wearable, was developed by mechatronics engineering students Anaid Parra Quiroz and Esthela Gómez, robotics student Giwan Park and law student Guadalupe Martínez.
2. ‘Rape-Crisis Glasgow’ receives an emergency funding by Scottish Government
A rape support service to receive an emergency Scottish Government funding after Children in need (CiN) was not renewed. This service provides aid to women and children in an area of over one million population. CiN, which was funding the service since 2012 did not grant its application saying it did not have enough money. The reports were also denied by them that claimed that the group was turned down because it did not do enough to support male survivors of abuse. The Scottish Government came up to fund it so that it could maintain its services.
3. Decades of sexual violence by priests and cover-ups by Bishops calls for a crucial test of Pope Francis
The detailed grand jury report of Pennsylvania of decades of sexual abuse and cover-ups among clergy poses a crucial test for Pope Francis’ papacy which has stumbled badly at times to address sexual abuse. “The clock is ticking for all of us in Church leadership,” said Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, the Pope’s top advisor on sexual abuse.
The Vatican broke its silence on Thursday calling the accusations “criminal and morally reprehensible.” This week, Pope Francis had been under increasing pressure to address a rapidly escalating sexual abuse crisis that has spread across several continents, from Australia to Latin America.
4. Pornography blamed for the normalisation of rapes in India.
From the 30 girls in a Bihar shelter who were allegedly sexually abused over any years to a 10-year old child who escaped from another centre in Uttar Pradesh, every another day there is a huge pile of rape headlines in newspapers.
This is an unusual practice when Supreme Court makes a statement asking ‘What is to be done?’ because girls and getting raped left, right and centre. This underlines the gravity of the situation, Justice Madan Lokur of the Supreme court pointed out: “The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data observes that a woman is raped every six hours in India”. The need of the hour is for the Supreme Court to stop lamenting and act to the best of its power.
5. Sexual harassment in Indian entertainment industry comes to light since the #MeToo campaign in Hollywood
Rekha Sharma, Chairperson for National Commission for Women, Malayalam actor Ranjni Sasha representing the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) and others as a part of panel discussion emphasized the need to establish an Internal Complaints Committee in the film industry. The NCW said that sexual harassment at work remains a perennial issue for women. Combating this climate remains a herculean task, especially considering how many women do not report the harassment they face.
This article was first published on Safecity, as a part of the blogging team by Khrushali Jaiswal.