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 news from the 7th – 13th October, 2017.
Harvey Weinstein Scandal
Hollywood producer and mogul Harvey Weinstein has been accused by multiple women including models and actresses of sexual harassment and now also of rape. He has been fired from his company and has accepted impropriety but has denied rape allegations. He apparently made many out-of-court monetary settlements with women over the decades. He was one of the most powerful people in Hollywood and his movies were nominated for more than 300 Oscars.
Ben Affleck apologises for Groping
Following revelations of Harvey Weinstein’s harassment, Hilarie Burton, an American actress accused Ben Affleck of groping her on TV. Ben Affleck apologised on Twitter writing “I acted inappropriately toward Ms. Burton and I sincerely apologize.”
Contract implies Weinstein can’t be fired for sexual harassment
TMZ has reported that Harvey Weinstein had a contract with his company, The Weinstein Company, which in effect allowed him to sexually harass woman, preventing him from being fired for sexual harassment, instead he would have to pay for the settlement given to the woman and pay an additional fine. New York times has also reported that the company was aware of the sexual harassment in 2015.
Weinstein was a Democratic party power broker
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama gave a delayed response to the Harvey Weinstein scandal, they both have received contributions from Weinstein. Harvey Weinstein was a major contributor to the Democratic Party. He had direct access to Bill Clinton when he was President and hosted movies in the White House. President Obama’s daughter, Malia interned for Weinstein’s company. He also had great sway over the news media with NBC news scraping an investigation into his sexual impropriety. His incredible power is why he was able to get away with his behaviour for over 30 years.
Oliver Stone accused of groping Playboy model
Famous filmmaker Oliver Stone has been accused of groping Carrie Stevens, former Playboy model at a party 26 years ago. These accusations came to light after Oliver stone tried to defend Harvey Weinstein and told people not to come to a conclusion based on media reports alone.
Indian director offers roles for sex
Film-maker and theatre director Premangshu Roy has been accused of sexual harassment by women at a government theatre workshop. He has been removed and an investigation is underway. He apparently offered women roles in his projects in return for sexual favours.
Jain Baba accused of sexual harassment
A Jain religious guru, Nrimuni Maharaj has been accused of sexual harassment and molestation by a woman who claims to have spent ten years of her life in the ashram. She claims the guru told her to remove her clothes and perform sexual acts. The guru has denied the charges.
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