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Sexual Assault

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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.

Sexual violence, including rape, harassment, and other forms of sexual assault, occurs in our society in high numbers. It is one of the most undisclosed and under-reported crimes, partially due to the shame and stigma faced by many of the victims and as a result, the crime is shrouded in silence and secrecy. A reluctance to disclose has been found to be a barrier to treatment, when treatment can often be of significant help in resolving the feelings of guilt, shame, fear, anger, anxiety, and depression that might follow a sexual attack. Nevertheless, though sexual violence is a traumatic and life-altering experience, recovery is possible. A compassionate therapist who understands trauma, especially sexual trauma, and its effects is often able to help people who have experienced rape and other forms of sexual abuse. Research has consistently shown that the relationship between the therapist and the person in treatment is the…

Sexual assault teaches victims that their bodies are not really their own. Victims often report feelings such as shame, terror, and guilt, and many blame themselves for the assault. In the aftermath of a sexual assault, survivors face extremely difficult and painful emotions and experiences. Every survivor responds to traumatic events in their own way. It is important to note that: Sexual assault is never a victim’s fault. Sexual assault is a crime motivated by a need to control, humiliate, and harm. If the victim does not fight the acts, it does not mean consent. Also when sexual assault is referred to as the act of “forcing a victim to perform sexual acts…” that ‘force’ does not only mean physical force, but includes manipulation, coercion, threats, and situations where a person is unable to give consent. Sexual assault can have a variety of short- and – long term effects on…

If stories about sexual assault all over the news points to any truth, it is that there is urgent need to change the culture surrounding sexual assault: How do we teach powerful men not to sexually harass or assault the people they hold power over? How can we band together to stop sexual assault and harassment? How can we stop rape culture in its tracks? So-called “jokes” may seem like the most minor of issues related to rape culture — but the first thing we all need to learn is what to say when someone jokes about sexual assault. These jokes have nothing to do with your sense of humor, and everything to do with normalizing and trivializing the idea of sexual assault. When people make jokes about rape, about men overpowering women, even about women deserving it, and no one calls them out on it, it’s a signal that the joke’s…