Gender-based and sexual violence under spotlight

| 26/11/2019 | 2 Comments

(CNS): The Gender Affairs Unit (GAU) has begun the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, with a focus this year on sexual violence. Cayman is far from immune from this global scourge and the associated blurring of lines around sexual consent, victim blaming and excusing perpetrators. According to police statistics, they have dealt with almost 200 reported cases of sexual violence over the last four years. But there are likely many more given the under-reporting of the crime.

Securing convictions when evidence comes just from the victim is also challenging because many defendants claim consent — one of the areas of focus for this year’s awareness campaign.

“Exact numbers of rape and sexual assaults are notoriously difficult to confirm due to impunity for perpetrators, stigma towards survivors, and their subsequent silence,” said GAU Senior Policy Analyst, Karlene Bramwell. “This worldwide observance is used as an organising strategy to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.”

The aim, she added, is to open the conversation, educate the public and to advocate for victims and survivors.

Launched on Monday, which was the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls, the global campaign runs until 10 December, which is Human Rights Day. This year the goal is to ask the public to stand united against blurring the lines around sexual consent, victim blaming and excusing perpetrators.

Gender-based violence is deeply rooted in gender inequality, and is one of the most common human rights violations in all societies, as it is based on relationships with unequal power. It can be physical, emotional, psychological or sexual in nature, and can take the form of a denial of resources or access to services, resulting in economic harm.

Rape, as a specific physical form of violence against women and girls, is rooted in a complex set of patriarchal beliefs, around power and control that continue to create a social environment in which sexual violence is normalised. Such “culture” is perpetuated by misogynistic language, objectification of bodies, and by the glamourisation of violence. Behaviours associated with rape include victim-blaming, sexual objectification, trivialising rape, denial of widespread rape, or refusing to acknowledge the harm of sexual harassment or assault.

To promote awareness and encourage debate about the still largely taboo subject of sexual and gender-based violence the public is encouraged to take part in the ‘Orange the World’ dress down day on 29 November, and show solidarity with survivors in eliminating all forms of violence. Orange symbolises a brighter future, free of violence.

Promotional items will be on sale tomorrow, Wednesday 27 November, at the Government Administration Building, 11:30am – 1:30pm. Proceeds will help fund the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre’s sexual abuse programmes.

There will also be a panel discussion on rape culture on Monday, 2 December, at the Constitution Hall, starting at 6:00pm.

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service figures for the various types of sexual crimes since 2015 are as follows: 

Crime 2015 2016 2017 2018
Rape 11 12 17 17
Attempted Rape 2 2 1 3
Indecent Assault N/A 39 35 25
Defilement 7 11 7 9
Total 20 64 60 54

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Category: Community, Crime, Crime Prevention, Local News

Comments (2)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This gender inequality is caused by religeons.
    All major religeons place the man above the woman.
    So there is your solution.
    Preaching this garbage should be criminalized .

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