Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

In the News (5.12) – rape culture and racialised misogyny

A long road: domestic violence law in China by Yuan Feng at openDemocracy

... Now we face the challenge of making the law work to prevent violence, ensure duty bearers respond and hold perpetrators to account, at the same time as supporting survivors.  The law permits police to issue a warning, provided the violence reaches a certain threshold. A woman from Shanxi province seeking this remedy was refused, the police claimed that they had never heard of this part of the law.  The woman then requested that the court issue a protection order.  The court declined, saying that this would imply that the marriage was over.  When she was abused again she took a copy of the warning letter to the police and they issued one. The husband then refused to sign that he had received the letter, so the police again told her there was nothing they could do. She then returned to the court which heard her evidence, but the judge showed her evidence to her violent husband and allowed him to a take picture, then asked her to withdraw her case.  Feeling very unsafe she went to stay with friends, she returned to see her child only to discover that her husband had deleted all the numbers from her phone, including those of the agencies she had sought help from.  She then turned to the local women’s federation who advised her to be more positive in the marriage, to demonstrate more care for her husband and child.  ...

Lesbians at the heart of the movement to end men’s violence by LEPA MLADJENOVIĆ openDemocracy

... Lesbians have been at the heart of the movement against men’s violence in many spaces across the world.   From 1972,  when the first Rape Crisis Centre was formed in Washington DC, lesbians were among the feminists who founded rape crisis centres and shelters for abused women in Europe, Latin America, US, Canada and Australia.  I want to highlight this fact - that lesbians were and are engaged in the field of challenging men’s violence – but I also want to understand why this is important for lesbians themselves and for women dealing with legacies of violence. ...

New research shows that poverty, ethnicity and gender magnify the impact of austerity on BME women via  @WomensBudgetGrp

Low income black and Asian women are paying the highest price for austerity according to new analysis by the Women’s Budget Group in partnership with the race equality think tank Runnymede Trust.

The new analysis shows the impact of tax, benefit and public service changes at the intersection of income, gender and ethnicity for the first time. It covers fiscal policy from 2010 up to and including the 2016 Autumn Financial Statement projected up to 2020.

The analysis shows that by 2020:

  • Individuals in the poorest households lose most from tax and benefit changes, but in every income group BME women will lose the greatest proportion of their individual income.
  • Low income black and Asian women will lose around twice as much money as low income white men as a result of tax and benefit changes. ...

The state is an enabler of sexual violence. So what hope for the victims? by Eve Livingston

What does a perpetrator of violence against women look like? For many, the question still evokes images of shadowy strangers pouncing in the dark or thuggish drunken husbands stumbling home from football matches – stereotypes challenged tirelessly by women’s organisations and campaigners, especially throughout the current 16 days of action against gender-based violence.

In reality, women are statistically most likely to be assaulted by someone known to them, and domestic abuse can be, and is, also perpetrated by handsome middle-class professionals. Busting myths is therefore a crucial tool in the fight against a culture which relies on them. But for all these vital and urgent conversations about the true face of perpetrators, there is one that remains largely invisible in spite of both ubiquity and power: the state itself.

Revealed: the shocking truth about Scotland's rape culture on campus by Annie McLaughlin

According to the National Union of Students’ (NUS) Hidden Marks report, an estimated 68 per cent of female students have been subject to sexual harassment within UK universities, with one in seven experiencing serious sexual or physical assault, including rape.

Little wonder then there is increasing alarm about gender-based violence on UK campuses and how universities are dealing with it, which has led to renewed calls for action.

Last month, a report published by a Universities UK taskforce urged institutions to create a zero-tolerance culture with regard to violence against women. It came after further NUS research revealed a “startling lack of provision, training, and support across institutions and students’ unions” with regard to measures to deal with sexual violence and harassment.

In Scotland, however, ground-breaking research is already leading the way. The Equally Safe in Higher Education (ESHE) project, based at the University of Strathclyde and funded by the Scottish Government, is developing a toolkit for all Scottish universities to help them identify, prevent and eliminate sexual assault, harassment, stalking and domestic violence. It will also investigate the extent of sexual violence within Scottish higher-education institutions. ...

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