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Violence

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The subject of rape is a very sensitive one, both for the victim and the culprit. We read about different experiences the victims go through. Worse, our society has over time learned to tilt the table in favor of the culprit, while further victimizing the victim. Although there have been numerous instances where people have used the false accusation of rape as a weapon, causing havoc in the lives of many, tarnishing their reputation and damaging the credibility of those who are actual victims of rape. Findings from a National Survey carried out in 2014 on Violence Against Children in Nigeria confirmed one in four girls reported experiencing sexual violence in childhood with approximately 70% reporting more than one incident of sexual violence. In the same study, it was found that 24.8% of female victims, between 18 to 24 years old,  experienced sexual abuse prior to age 18 of which…

Abusers disempower their victims in any way they possibly can in order to gain the upper hand. This can result in what is known as Learned Helplessness, a theory Martin Seligman introduced based on research he conducted at Cornell University in 1967. From Wikipedia: “Learned Helplessness is a psychological condition in which a human being or animal has learned to believe that it is helpless in a particular situation. It has come to believe that it has no control over its situation and that whatever it does is futile. As a result, the human being or animal will stay passive in the face of an unpleasant, harmful or damaging situation, even when it does actually have the power to change its circumstances. Learned helplessness theory is the view that depression results from a perceived lack of control over the events in one’s life, which may result from prior exposure to…

“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.

UK announced in 2014 that a new domestic abuse offence of “coercive and controlling behavior” was to be introduced, which carries a penalty of up to five years in prison – as well as a fine. This was to help victims identify the behavior they are suffering as wrong and encourage them to report it, as well as cause perpetrators to rethink their controlling behavior. Controlling or coercive behavior does not relate to a single incident alone, but it is a purposeful pattern of behavior which takes place over time in order for one individual to exert power, control or coercion over another individual.  Controlling behavior is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behavior.…

Nationally and internationally there are growing concerns about sexual and domestic violence and this extends to the experience of students in higher institutions. Sexual violence and domestic abuse are public health problems in society – and they are issues that students in universities encounter which has the potential to disrupt their education and change the course of their lives if not handled properly. One 2011 study reported that during their time at university, 25% of female students in the UK had experienced sexual assault, 7% were subject to a serious sexual assault and 68% were subject to physical or verbal sexual harassment on campus. A new study has also found that some students – both male and female – hold myths about sexual violence and domestic abuse when they arrive at university. These include rape myths such as believing that the victim brought it on herself by her behavior or her consumption of…

In episode 3 of ‘Big Little Lies’, the couple is drinking wine in front of a fire, a portrait of domestic bliss, when Perry finds out that Celeste and the kids are going to Disney on Ice without him. He accuses her of purposely excluding him, and grabs her roughly by the neck. When she protests that he is hurting her, he flips the statement around. “Oh, I’m hurting you? he scoffs. “Can we talk about how much you hurt me?”   It is her fault, he means. She hurt him first. He is the true victim. A victim might wonder, ‘Doesn’t everyone fight?’, ‘what is even normal in intimate relationships?’ In as much as it is important for victims to admit to themselves that what they’re experiencing is abuse, they also need to be emotionally ready to deal with the consequences. Once they recognize they are in danger, the…

A trigger is basically what it sounds like: a person, speech, sound, smell, sight or thing that creates a disruptive, emotional response. Survivors have to learn how to actually talk about what happened to them and understand the events that may come up in their lives that could make them feel afraid, upset, or bring them back to that moment in time that changed their lives forever. As a friend, lover, or family of a survivor, by understanding triggers, you could help someone who has suffered an atrocious event like rape or sexual assault. In the strictest sense of the term, trigger is used to refer to experiences that “re-trigger” trauma in the form of flashbacks or overwhelming feelings of sadness, anxiety, or panic. The brain forms a connection between a trigger and the feelings with which it is associated, and some triggers are quite innocuous. For example, a person who smelled incense while being raped might…

The only person responsible for committing sexual assault is a perpetrator; however, everyone has the ability to look out for one another’s safety. Whether it’s giving someone a safe ride home from a party or directly confronting a person who is engaging in threatening behaviour towards someone else, anyone can help prevent sexual violence. A bystander is an individual who is present when a violent incident, such as sexual assault, takes place but isn’t directly involved. Bystanders might be present when rape, harassment or abuse occurs—or they could witness the circumstances that led up to these crimes, and thus potentially are in a position to discourage, prevent, or interrupt an incident. You may have heard the term “Bystander Intervention”. This is the act of feeling empowered and equipped with the knowledge and skills to effectively assist in the prevention of sexual violence. The intervention act doesn’t have to jeopardize the safety of…