Sexual Violence: A Global Pandemic
Written by Nikunj Morarka
Policy and Legal Team
Sexual violence is a global pandemic. One in three women experience sexual or physical violence – most likely from their intimate partner, according to a report from the World Health Organization. There is an urgent need to increase sensitisation regarding sexual violence and the awareness of consent and sexual violence amongst persons at large. In this series, we examine sexual violence and related issues that have come up in the news, on a weekly basis, published every Saturday. This is an attempt to improve awareness regarding incidents of sexual violence and related matters, so that we, as a society can take steps towards collective action to reduce its incidence. It is an effort to ensure that we acknowledge the rampant sexual violence that exists, lest we forget.
This issue looks at 16th December to 22nd December, 2017.
10 Million Dollar Case against Weinstein
A former associate producer on the tv show Marco Polo has filed a 10 million dollar sexual harassment case against Harvey Weinstein and the Weinstein Company. “The foregoing events and actions of Harvey Weinstein took place in conjunction with Plaintiff’s employment, in various capacities, for Harvey Weinstein and The Weinstein Company,” lawyers for the former AP said. “Over the course of his misconduct, up to September 2017, Harvey Weinstein threatened Plaintiff and made it clear that if she did not succumb to his demands or if she exposed his unwanted conduct there would be retaliation, including humiliation, the loss of her job and any ability to work in the entertainment business,” they also declared.
Ford CEO apologises for sexual harassment culture
This Thursday, Ford CEO issued a public apology statement: “I am sorry for any instance where a colleague was subjected to harassment or discriminatory conduct. On behalf of myself and the employees of Ford Motor Company, who condemn such behavior and regret any harassment as much as I do, I apologize. More importantly, I promise that we will learn from this and we will do better.” The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had made Ford pay 10 million dollars in August to settle racial and sexual harassment charges. Another such case is ongoing in the courts.
Matt Damon’s insensitive statements
Matt Damon has been accused of trivialising sexual harassment, in the past week in an interview to promote his new movie he said, “We’re in this watershed moment, and it’s great, but I think one thing that’s not being talked about is… the preponderance of men I’ve worked with who don’t do this kind of thing.”
There’s a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right?” Damon told ABC’S ‘Popcorn’ with Peter Travers. He also said that sexual harassment accusations need to be dealt on a case by case basis, drawing criticism from activists who believe we need to believe women accusers.
Sexual harassment statistics for India
As many as 1,971 cases of sexual harassment of women at workplace were registered in four years till 12 December, 2017 according to the reply of Dr. Virendra Kumar to the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament) on 15 December, 2017. Cases reported increased by 45 percent from 371 in 2014 to 539 in 2017 (till 12 December, 2017)
5 men rape a 20 year old girl
A 20-year-old woman was allegedly gang-raped by five men suspected to be juveniles near a municipal garbage dump in Jahangirpuri on Wednesday night. The survivor lodged a complaint at Jahangirpuri police station on Thursday afternoon.
In her statement, the survivor told police that she bumped into the youths near the garbage dump around 10pm. The youths took her to a desolate spot behind the MCD apartments nearby and raped her in turns. They threatened to kill her if she shouted for help or mentioned the incident to anyone. The police has started the investigation and the suspects have been detained.
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