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“If you think that rape is wrong for the wrong reasons, you are part of the problem. The reasons we condemn rape often strengthen the same power structures that lead to rape in the first place. The common arguments against rape are also the common contributing factors to female oppression, denial of female agency and sexual violence as a tool of punishment.” Join Shreena Thakore as she deconstructs the complexities of rape culture in an Indian setting and elucidates the right reasons to think that rape is wrong. Shreena Thakore is the co-founder of No Country for Women – an organization dedicated to fighting institutionalized rape culture in India. Their work focuses on bridging the gap between academia and activism, and has gained significant national and international recognition. She studied at Brown University, USA.

Sometimes being an adult that suffered from child molestation or rape never leaves my mind and the repercussions of it have affected me deeply. The effect is a scar just like the kind that you receive when you’re badly injured and get stitches. I cannot speak for others as I have only had my own personal experience.  The severity of mine was very bad, it was cruel, it was terrifying, it was unmentionable and scary.  I was frightened most of my young life and it was ongoing from 7 to 17.  I was in a very innocent age at the time being born in the 50’s.  My generation did not have TV depicting much about wholesome family unit shows.  I had no Internet to look up things and asking people might have revealed something I felt ashamed, guilty, uneducated, and unknowledgeable about.  I had a small teaching of the Bible from a few Sunday School classes.  I…

They say with time it gets better They say you stop asking why They say talking helps They say writing helps They say you’re safe They say it can’t happen again They say he can’t reach you again They say relax They say be happy They say stop looking over your shoulder THEY don’t know that the fear never stops, never goes away, the shadows never leave, and the hands never stop. THEY don’t know that he is always behind me, reminding me, reliving it, and never forgetting. THEY don’t know. – Z.T.

“You feel as if the world is rushing at you. Noises become very pronounced and it makes your head swim. Sometimes you find it difficult to focus, sometimes you feel disoriented. Your heart rate soars and you become very aware of your breathing. And you sometimes have pins and needles in your hands or a sudden tension across your shoulders. Other times you feel an intense bolt of fear, which makes you want to move away but roots you to the spot…like when you’re dreaming and want to scream but no sound comes out. The attacks pass quickly but arrive with no warning. You know they go away eventually, so it takes a little of the edge off…” According to research almost everyone will experience an anxiety (panic)attack at least once in their life time. People who behave more anxiously than normal often experience many anxiety attacks. Approximately 3 percent…

The past is never dead. It’s not even past. – William Faulkner Many people mistake trauma to be what happens during “the incident”; however, trauma is what begins after the experience of adverse event. It is the imprint that event left on the mind and sensations of the survivor… the discomfort, agitation, rage, feelings of powerlessness/helplessness the victim has to deal with. Unlike simple stress, trauma changes the victims’ view of life in its entirety and of themselves. It shatters the most basic assumptions about the self and the world, views like – “Life is good,” “I’m  safe,” “People are kind,” “I can trust others,” “The future is likely to be good” – and replaces them with feelings like “The world is dangerous,” “I can’t win,” “I can’t trust other people,” or “There’s no hope.” When people carry the scars of trauma, it’s often an invisible wound that takes time…

The day began as a very emotional day for me dealing with family issues. I was in a relationship with this guy, so we were watching a movie like any other ordinary evening. I had been talking with him about the situations going on. We had kissed a few times, not really doing any serious making out. I was laying on the couch with my head on his knee. I was honestly to the point I was falling asleep…drained from the day. I felt him rub my arms, as I started to drift off. The next moment, I felt his hand going down the front of my shirt. I immediately grabbed his arm and told him to stop. I wasn’t in the mood to make out or fool around. I was exhausted. I just wanted a nice quiet evening with him watching a movie. I laid there figuring that the…

Do you know what it’s like to feel so dirty and disgusting that all you want is to crawl into the shower and scrub until you’ve shed all the skin he touched? But you’re in so much pain that you can’t even make it out of your bed, so you turn away from your roommate’s side of the room so that when she comes in, she won’t see you cry. Do you know what it’s like to be pushed into a room, clearly intoxicated beyond the point where consent is possible, by someone you considered a friend? After saying stop a few times and he doesn’t listen, you just stop trying to say “Stop, you’re hurting me. Stop, I don’t want this.” You just lay back and wait for what seems like an eternity for it to be over. This eternity is plenty of time to wonder why you. You…

When rape or sexual assault occurs, victims feel a sense of loss of control and power. There is nothing that disrupts a person’s sense of identity or grip on reality like sexual assault. Most victims go into hiding, withdrawing from friends and family and instead of seeking treatment, reporting the assault or asking for help, choose the path of silence and secrecy out of misplaced self-blame and shame. If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, you may be both physically and emotionally affected. Only you can decide what you feel up to doing in the hours, days or weeks that follow. This article provides information and advice to help you make the right decisions and get the support you need.  Safety comes first The first thing you should do is go somewhere you feel safe, such as the home of a close friend or family member. It may be…

It happens the same way every single time, whether it’s Bill Cosby, Woody Allen, Donald Trump and now Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Jeffery Tambor, Matt Lauer, etc:  A victim, usually a woman, will come forward with accusations of sexual assault, and then many others will come forward and suddenly sexual assault dominates the 24-hour news cycle and social media. It’s everywhere you turn. Your social media timelines are filled with new stories, survivors sharing their own accounts in solidarity. Celebrities come forward. Hashtags spring up. It seems impossible to escape; at the salon, at work, at home, people are talking about your worst nightmare. On one hand it might feel good that sexual predators and their sordid acts are being exposed, but on the other hand you might feel sick when these stories trigger memories of your own, as they most likely would. It is always a great thing, a positive step…

The media can be a great tool for increasing public awareness about sexual violence, but it can also pose challenges for some survivors. Portrayals of sexual violence in movies, television shows, the news, and social media can prompt negative reactions, from flashbacks and anxiety to feelings of sadness or irritability. Below are a few ways to help limit your exposure to media that could prompt these uncomfortable experiences. Movies and TV Shows Movies and television programs that depict sexual violence can be part of dramatic plots, contain graphic scenes, or emphasize trauma over healing. Keep the following tips in mind to help navigate your viewing experience in a safe way. You are in control. You never have to watch something to prove you can handle it. If you go to a movie and find it upsetting, feel free to leave. If your favorite weekly television show includes a scene you find upsetting, it is ok to…