We may be halfway through Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) but our work is not close to being done. As part of our #ProjectSAAM2018 weekly round-up, it's time to take a look at what's been going on in the news all around the world this week regarding sexual assault.
This past January, 8-year-old Asifa Bano was abducted, raped, and drugged over 5 days and her body was found in Kashmir, India. The story made headlines this week as it became a religious issue when Hindu right-wing groups protested over the arrest of eight Hindu men. Police arrested a retired government official, four police officers, and a minor - all who belong to a local Hindu community that has been involved in a land dispute with Muslim nomads.
In Canada, the Quebec Crown launched a hotline that allows survivors of sexual assault who are considering filing a complaint with police to talk to specialized prosecutors who have experience in dealing with sexual assault cases. As most of us know, knowing the rights one has and the logistical steps that can be taken after a sexual assault is not clear. This hotline helps survivors deal with that hurdle and gives them the opportunity to explore the options that they have after an assault.
In Sweden, 18 women accused Jean-Claude Arnault, the husband of one of the Nobel Prize board members, Katarina Frostenson of both sexual and physical abuse. In response to this, the head of the board that awards the Nobel Prize in Literature - Sara Danius stepped down in the wake of a sexual abuse scandal. In response to her resignation, Swedish women are wearing bow blouses or scarves tied in a bow to support Danius, questioning why she is the one who took the fall.
Today marks the beginning of Songkran - Thailand's New Year celebration! A government official suggested that women should not "dress sexy" to avoid sexual harassment during the celebrations. Cindy Bishop, a Bangkok-based celebrity fired back to this statement by creating the hashtag #DontTellMeHowToDress.
Following up from last week's round up, Billy Cosby's trial started on Thursday with multiple women testifying against him including Adndrea Constand and Janice Dickinson.
Lastly, Kesha and Macklemore are teaming up with Plus 1 Org to donate a portion of the proceeds from The Adventures of Kesha and Macklemore tour to the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN).
Lastly, Project Consent launched its newest campaign, "Change the Conversation. Change the Culture" - a narrative film series that seeks to showcase the unheard stories of survivors. Through the use of satire, these stories focus on the language in rape culture and the effect it has on survivors and society.
Today may be Friday, the 13th but it's never bad luck to get involved to make a change and combat sexual assault.