Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

In the News

New Imkaan report “Capital Losses: The state of the BME ending violence against women and girls sector in London”

On May 5th, 2016, Londoners will elect a new Mayor. As candidates enter the last few days of campaigning, we want to draw their attention to the issue of violence against BME women and girls, and the specialist, dedicated BME led women’s organisations that support them. We want the new Mayor to start off on the right footing.

London benefits from having some of the longest surviving specialist and dedicated BME ending violence against women and girls (VAWG) organisations; but those organisations have been hit hard by cuts, competition from larger providers, and a lack of commitment from local, regional and national government.

The Mayor of London has a key role in shaping and leading this city’s approach to violence against women and girls and inequality more broadly and it is reassuring that in the period leading up to the 2016 Mayoral election, the main candidates have made a commitment to ensuring that the London VAWG Strategy is maintained, along with other commitments. Candidates have also pledged to ensure that BME women and girls are able to access appropriate support. It is essential that this is clearly understood, as a failure to safeguard the types of interventions which BME women value and find the most effective will undermine this, both in the Mayor’s capacity as strategic leader and Police and Crime Commissioner. ...

Rotherham abuse survivors press for stricter taxi safety measures

All taxis drivers in Rotherham will be required to have CCTV cameras installed in their cars from July, in an attempt to prevent child sexual exploitation.

Drivers will also have to activate an audio recording device whenever they transport an unaccompanied child or vulnerable adult , under a series of measures introduced by the council to rebuild trust in the taxi industry.

The measures are a grim reminder of the past failures of Rotherham borough council but also a testament to the determination of some of the town’s abuse survivors to ensure no other girls suffer the horrors they did.

The council took action following a campaign by some of the survivors and whistleblowers, who have formed a steering group that aims to educate authorities on how to detect child sexual exploitation. ...

My family was traumatised first by a murder, then by the TV serialisation

After discovering in 2009 that my beautiful mum, who died in 1991, was in fact murdered by my father and the woman he had formerly had an affair with, I was propelled into a new world of trauma.

Loss of any form is distressing. But the intentional and often violent killing of another brings about a complex grieving process that is interrupted, sidelined and trivialised in favour of a criminal investigation. In a 2011 report of 400 families bereaved through homicide, more than 80% were found to suffer from trauma-related symptoms. When dealing with (or often not dealing with) the impact of murder and the sequence of events it brings about, it can result in multiple processes of re-trauma. ...

 I Am a Rape Victim, Not a Survivor at XO Jane

Anti-rape activism has become incredibly one-sided in the past few years, and I will not shut up about it anymore.

I cringe when someone calls me a "survivor," or as is more common, calls all rape/abuse victims "survivors." The use of "survivor" has been carefully promoted under the assumption that all rape/abuse victims will eventually come to their senses and "reclaim" their trauma.

Every other day, some news story about a brave rape survivor who became a prizewinning wrestler or created a brilliant piece of performance art or performed at the Oscars sweeps Facebook. These stories absolutely inspire and comfort rape victims, but they also tell those who aren't thriving that all rape/abuse victims have the ability to become renowned wrestlers or performers. Then they're asked by themselves and others, What's wrong with you? Why aren't you doing something productive with all that trauma? ...

The Subtle Linguistics of Polite White Supremacy by @YawoBrown

Polite White Supremacy is the notion that whites should remain the ruling class while denying that they are the ruling class, politely. Affectionately, it’s called #PWS for short. It has been referred to as the Casual American Caste System, Delicate Apartheid, Gentle Oppression, or what I like to call it after a few drinks: Chad Crow, the super chill grandson of Jim Crow.

No but seriously, Polite White Supremacy is very real. So why is it that we must specifically say ‘Polite White Supremacy’ rather than Racism? We must say Polite White Supremacy for three reasons. First, saying #PWS puts the responsibility solely on the creators of a systemic problem. Second, this phrase addresses the subtlety and casualness with which oppression is administered. Thirdly, it eradicates the all-too-common confusion between racism and prejudice. It’s important to eradicate this confusion so it can be clear that racism is tied to a power structure and access to resources. ...

Why the VAWG hustings was so important to me by @KFOkanlawon

With the mayoral elections approaching it is important that the candidates address the public with their intended strategies, missions and priorities for the next four years. On 12th April, Imkaan and the EVAW coalition held a hustings event focused on Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) and what the next London mayor can do to end it in our city.

The room was over filled with women and men from all different organisations, charities and people who believe women and girl’s safety is a priority. The diversity in the room reflected the range of issues that were asked in the questions, issues around young people, housing, prostitution, service funding and the criminal justice system were some of the concerns that were raised. It was a great opportunity to hear from other organisations, the services they provide and the issues that they would like the next mayor to commit to. Besides that, the event allowed me to network and obtain more information which allowed me to see why the hustings event is so important. ...

My Name Is Madeline Wilson, And My College Is Protecting My Rapist

My name is Madeline Wilson and I'm a senior at St. Olaf College. While my friends are applying for jobs and going to interviews, I'm working with a team of lawyers to change St. Olaf's legacy of failing to address rape on campus. I’m also working with a group of students to bring awareness to St. Olaf’s cowardice in dealing with rapists. It isn’t easy to constantly be talking about my rape, and it sucks to have people think of rape when they see my face. This isn't fun for me, but it’s the only way to get St. Olaf’s administration to take survivors of sexual assault seriously. ...

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